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Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification

PERM for Experts: ILW Teleconference on November 25

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On Wednesday, November 25, 2009, we will have an important teleconference on PERM. The teleconference takes place at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.


This will be the second of our current three-part teleconference series on "PERM for Experts." We'll be covering all aspects of notice requirements, recruitment, and consideration of US workers. 


The DOL requirements for method of contact, review of resumes and interview will be covered in full, plus an analysis regarding prepariion of the Record File, which requires a recruitment report, summary of job interviews and supporting documents to be maintained for at least five years after a final determination.  


Also to be covered is the topic of 2nd preference v. 3rd preference.


Third preference requirements include three categories: attainment of a bachelor's degree, two years post-secondary education, or training, whether paid or unpaid. Recent USCIS I-140 decisions have shown that there are many traps for unwary employers who draft these requirements incorrectly, especially the issues of "equivalency" or "any suitable combination."


The third preference is also divided into "skilled" and "unskilled" workers. Skilled workers are more plentiful than unskilled workers, a fact which results in a more serious backlog for the latter.


"Unskilled" workers are also called "other workers." Methods of utilizing options to the slow-moving "other worker" category will be explained discussed.


The discussion on the second preference will focus on its two separate tracks:  Advanced Degree and Exceptional Ability.


With third preference backlogged to 2002, the second preference is more important than ever. Many employers do not realize that the application does not need to stipulate attainment of a master's degree or bachelor's plus five years of progressive experience in order to qualify for second preference.


Instead, the alien can apply for second preference as a person of exceptional ability. The second preference actually has two approaches, and only the first approach is as an advanced degree holder (the holder of a master's degree or a bachelor's plus five years of progressive experience).


However, an applicant can qualify as an exceptional alien, a term of art not as rigorous as extraordinary. The extraordinary category is used for first preference to describe a few persons at the very top of their field. However, an exceptional person is somewhere above average but not at the very top of their field.


In order to apply under the second preference as a person of exceptional ability the applicant's PERM case must show that he or she possesses qualifications as an "exceptional" alien. This can be achieved by demonstrating three out of six categories of achievements. The categories are in the USCIS regulations, not in the DOL regulations.


We will be exploring these options during the teleconference.



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  1. R.'s Avatar
    i have a question about the salary that is agreed when applying for perm. my company has agrredd to pay me 75k when i recieve my green card but they are currently paying me 60k. i have recieved the card, but they didn't bump up the salary. is there any legal tie to that 75 k number?

    thanks
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