Permanent Residence

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aAssisting clients to gain permanent residency in the United States

Barst attorneys have been helping clients obtain permanent residence in the United States for 80 years. For the client seeking permanent residence based on employment, the most common avenue is a permanent labor certification. These certifications are issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration in conjunction with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The DOL will grant the certification upon a finding that the specific job offered to the applicant cannot be sufficiently staffed by ready, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers.

To qualify for a permanent labor certification, the applicant must follow the current PERM process and regulations and meet the following requirements:

  • The employee must be hired by the domestic employer as a full-time employee
  • The position must be a bona fide job opening available to U.S. workers
  • The job requirements must be customary to U.S. requirements for that occupation and not altered to conform to the employee’s foreign qualifications
  • The pay rate for the job must be at least the common amount for that type of occupation

In addition to these requirements, the DOL requires three filings to complete labor certification:

  • ETA Form 9089: PERM Labor Certification application (filed by the employer)
  • Form I-140 Immigrant Petition (filed by the employer with USCIS)
  • Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (filed by the employee with USCIS)

In lieu of Form I-485, the employee may have his or her immigrant visa processed at a U.S. embassy or consulate; this is the only option available when outside the United States.

If you meet certain qualifications, you may not be required to complete PERM Labor Certification to obtain permanent residence based on employment. For detailed information, visit our Labor Certification page.

The application’s terms and conditions contain the minimum education and experience requirements. Prior to filing, the employer must take mandatory recruitment steps to determine the position cannot be filled by a U.S. worker, which entail circulation of advertisements for the job. The DOL also provides a choice of additional recruitment steps that are required before the application can be filed. The employer also must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. For a listing of the official filing process and pre-filing requirements, visit the DOL website,the DOL FAQ page

The application can be submitted electronically or via mail and may be subject to a random DOL audit. The DOL requires that copies of all documentation relating to an application be available upon request for up to five years from the date of filing.

Currently, the roughly 140,000 employment-based immigration visas made available by the federal government are over-subscribed. This oversubscription has resulted in a significant waiting period based on an applicant’s priority date (typically the filing date). The U.S. Department of State handles the allotment of these visas and publishes the current numbers on its Visa Bulletin.

U.S. visa lawyers in our New York City immigration law firm can assist you in all matters concerning eligibility and application for permanent resident status.

If you are seeking permanent residence in the United States and need experienced legal assistance throughout the application process, call 212-686-3838 or contact Barst online. Our lawyers speak several languages, including French, Mandarin, Spanish, Taiwanese, Turkish, Japanese, and Korean.

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Barst & Mukamal LLP
99 Park Avenue, 23rd Fl.
New York, NY 10016

Phone: 212-686-3838
Toll-Free: 1-888-506-1291
Fax: 212-481-9362