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Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification

Reflections on Attorney Fees

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

While in Orlando, I discussed some theories that might apply to the impending ban on attorney fees for labor certifications after July 16, 2007. The ban prevents aliens from paying attorney fees to cover services performed for the Employer. The ban actually applies to agents, representatives, attorneys and all costs involved in the labor certification (PERM) process.

Theories set forth to comply with the new rule include the following: (1) Separate the attorney fees and costs for labor certification processing and bill them entirely to the Employer, while not billing anything to the alien. The PERM rule suggests that the preparation of a PERM case takes about one hour. The client (Alien) would be billed for the remainder of the case including the petition and the adjustment of status. (2) Represent the Alien and not the Employer, provided that the Employer seek representation by an agency such as "The Perm Center" instead of an Attorney. The Perm Center would simply perform those duties suggested by the PERM regulations: (a) Represent the Employer as Agent in Part "E" and (b) Sign as Preparer if submitting the form to DOL. Either or both of these agency options may be omitted. (3) Represent the alien and not the Employer, provided that the alien's attorney would prepare the application forms and send them to the Employer's attorney (not necessarily an immigration lawyer) who would then forward them to the Employer for signature. (4) Represent the alien and not the Employer but deal directly with the Employer on the assumption that a lawyer may represent one party without representing the other, and still deal with both directly, provided the non-represented party consents. In all the above (except number one) it is assumed that the Employer will sign a waiver of representation or acknowledgement that the attorney represents the alien and not the Employer). (5) Collect funds and deposit them in a trust account, pending a court decision from pending litigation to permit an attorney to represent both the Employer and the Alien and be paid by either one or by both.

I would appreciate receiving comments, questions, and queries on issues of practicality, legality and ethics relating to any of the above.

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  1. V's Avatar
    Hi there,
    So, does this mean all cost associated with PERM processing, lawyer fees, advertising fees should be paid by the employer?

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