A labor certification is required for persons in this category unless they can establish that a waiver of this requirement would be in the National Interest. A labor certification is a determination by the U.S. Department of Labor that no U.S. worker could be found to perform the job. A labor certification is only granted when the U.S. employer has established through a recruitment process that it was unable to find a U.S. worker ready, willing, able and minimally qualified to fill the position.
What is PERM?
PERM is the Department of Labor’s computerized system for processing a labor certification application, which is the first and most important step in obtaining an employment-based Green Card. To apply for a labor certification under PERM, the U.S. employer must first perform an extensive recruitment procedure to determine if there are U.S. workers available for the position in question. If the recruitment reveals that there are no U.S. workers ready, willing, able, and qualified to fill the position, the employer completes an extensive questionnaire and series of attestations, which is then submitted electronically to the Department of Labor. Documentation in support of the application is retained by the employer and only submitted to the Department of Labor in case of an audit. Once submitted to the Department of Labor, the application is either approved or in some cases, subject to audit or investigation or denied.
Professionals With Advanced Degrees
An advanced degree professional possesses a minimum of a Master’s degree, OR a Bachelor’s degree plus five years progressive experience in the discipline. The degree may be obtained from any college or university in the world.
An individual of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business must also substantially benefit the national economic, cultural, educational, or welfare interests of the U.S. For these individuals, the requirement of a job offer and labor certification from an employer may be waived if it is determined to be in the National Interest.
The requirement of a labor certification can be waived if it is in the National Interest. To qualify for the National Interest Waiver, the applicant must demonstrate (1) that he or she is working in a field of substantial national importance, (2) the promised benefits of his or her work are national in scope and (3) the applicant, by virtue of his or her personal accomplishments in the field can better serve the National Interest than a U.S. worker with the same qualifications.
It is irrelevant that there are no U.S. workers to perform the job, or that the applicant possesses unique or hard to find skills. Rather, the applicant must demonstrate he/she will serve the National Interest to a substantially greater degree than a U.S. worker with similar qualifications. The strongest applications will include letters of support from U.S. government agencies, or other authoritative sources. These letters of support must establish that the applicant has a degree of influence, or history of valuable contribution to the field as a whole.
The applicant must demonstrate a past history of achievement with some degree of influence on his/her field as a whole. The influence that you have must distinguish you from other scientists with comparable academic professional qualifications. For example, did the applicant develop an electronic component needed to develop an artificial vision system? Has the applicant’s work influenced the work of others? Have others relied on his name or her findings? Are the research achievements unusually significant?
In the opinion of U.S. Immigration, a substantial amount of publications, along with many citations from scholars in the field, are important pieces of evidence to prove national impact. If lesser known national or international awards are submitted it must be established that the award is "national or international in scope". For example, an award to "young and promising scholars" or an award to the "Number One Graduate Student" in a department or university is not "national or international in scope". These are viewed by immigration as local awards and are not considered as strong evidence. Awards issued by an institution to its own students will also not be considered as important documents to be considered.
Research grants, fellowships and scholarships are not awards that will be considered by immigration for the purpose of establishing that you are a person of National Interest. Awards such as these are considered by immigration "normal" and not "special, or out of the ordinary".
For an award to be strongly considered by immigration there must be documentary evidence concerning the significance of your particular contributions for which the award was granted, as well as the number of awards granted each year and perhaps the comparative distinctiveness of your award among other similar awards granted each year. In other words, how special is your award? How does your award differentiate you and your achievements from top professionals in your field?
A labor certification is required for all three groups within this category. "Skilled Worker" jobs require at least two years of training or experience to perform. "Other Workers" perform jobs that require less than two years experience or training.
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