For this entire year, we have witnessed debilitating effects this pandemic has on everyone's life, and the employment green card sponsorships filed by employers seeking to employ alien workers are no exception. Since the rise of the pandemic in March 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) started tightening its adjudication of the PERM labor certification applications. For those of you who do not know what PERM labor certification is, let me briefly explain to you so what I am saying would make sense. PERM labor certification application is an application that a company must file with the DOL to ask the agency to determine that there is insufficient availability of qualified US workers in the area of the intended employment. The purpose of the application is to protect jobs for US workers. In other words, the DOL would not issue a labor certification for a company to use to bring foreign labor to the United States if there is plenty of US workers out there for the job. That is why for most employment sponsorship cases, the first step that an employer must go through in sponsoring an alien worker to work is to file a PERM labor certification application with the DOL.
After the application is filed, the DOL will review the case to determine its sufficiency. The DOL could approve, deny, or audit the employer. Since the pandemic, we have witnessed a significant uptick in the percentage of the cases being audited by the DOL. After the audit process, the DOL may further require the employer to go through supervised recruitment. We have seen an increase in the supervised recruitment requests from the DOL as well.
Supervised recruitment requires the employer to re-conduct recruitment efforts to recruit US workers but this time the recruitment will be supervised by the DOL. The employer will need to conduct four to six nationwide recruitment online through career sites such as careerbuilder.com, monster.com, jobvertise.com, glassdoor.com, etc., in addition to job order with State Workforce Agency. The ads will require the candidates to send their resumes to the DOL first which will then re-direct the resumes to the employer. At the end of the supervised recruitment, the employer will need to submit the recruitment result back to the DOL. It is only if the employer is able to demonstrate that no US worker qualified for the job opportunity would the DOL then approve the application. In summary, the process is very tedious and time-consuming.
If you or anyone has any questions regarding the employment sponsorship while we are still in the midst of this pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact us.