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PERM – Business Sponsor case

Almost any employer in the US can sponsor a person to become an employee of the business and obtain permanent resident status.  The employer must have a federal taxpayer identification number.  The employer is not required to have any number of employees, but the employer must conduct business on a year-round basis (not seasonal employment) and must be able to show that the business can afford to pay the salary being offered. 

The foreign person being sponsored is not required to be working for the employer-sponsor during the process, and is not even required to be inside the US during the process.

The first step of the process is to obtain a prevailing wage determination for the position being offered  from the US Department of Labor (USDOL).  The job opening is then advertised in a local newspaper for 2 Sundays and online on America’s Job Bank.  Many times no one applies for the position being offered.  If any candidates apply, the sponsor must interview any applicants, either in person or by telephone, just as the employer would normally interview applicants.  The employer is not required to hire any of the applicants, but the employer may hire anyone who applies.  The employer must keep a good record of all interviews.

After the recruitment period, the PERM application is filed with the US Department of Labor (USDOL).  When the USDOL certifies the PERM, indicating that there are no US citizens or legal persons available to take the job, then the case can proceed to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  At this step the employer-sponsor needs to prove financial viability by showing the sponsor’s ability to afford to pay the prevailing wage.

When USCIS approves the petition for permanent resident status and the Priority Date is current, the case then proceeds either to Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing.  The process includes any spouse and any children under the age of 21 at that time. 

Under current immigration laws at this time many approved persons may have to complete their case at the US Consulate in their home country.  This is called consular processing.  The person may also need a Waiver to return to the US as quickly as possible.   

The employer-sponsor case is basically a 3-step process.