PERM Labor Certification

Permanent Resident through Labor Certification (PERM)

Department of Labor (DOL) regulations require that employers test the labor market so that U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not discriminated from the process. The main goal here is to see if there are qualified citizens and permanent residents, and to certify to the DOL of the labor conditions. While it appears counter-intuitive to advertise for a position that is not vacant, please keep in mind that the primary purpose is to test the market. If no qualified citizen or permanent resident is found, then the labor certification process can proceed.


This category is used in the legal permanent resident process to sponsor staff, non-tenure eligible faculty and researchers who meet sponsorship eligibility as per university policy. The regulations are more prohibitive than the labor certification for tenure-eligible faculty in that, every applicant who is minimally qualified must be considered and employers must follow advertisement and recruitment guidelines as established by the DOL.

Required steps

In order for a labor certification to be filed under PERM, the following steps must be taken:

  • Submit request form to the IO;
  • Meet 100% of the prevailing wage as determined by DOL;
  • Have non-research staff position descriptions approved by HR;
  • All research staff positions must be approved by VP for Research;
  • Pay all costs associated with the preparation, filing and obtaining a labor certification including attorney fees and advertisements;
  • Consider all minimally qualified individuals as stated in the job advertisements and the IL Job Link posting;
  • Reject applicants per guidelines provided by attorney;
  • In consultation with HR notify all laid-off employees from similar positions;
  • Complete resume review spreadsheet provided by attorney; and
  • Keep records for five years as of the date the PERM was filed.

Advertisement requirements

Must advertise in the following:

  • Two Sunday Chicago Tribune or Sunday Chicago Sun Times, and
  • Three additional sites to include the following:
    • E-Recruit for staff positions;
    • University Career Services web site for positions that require 0-1 year of experience;
    • Website of a professional journal;
    • Chicago Reader; or
    • Career Builder.

Record-keeping requirements

The following documents must be kept for five years:

  • Copies of all resumes and applications 
  • Completed resume review sheet (hyperlink)
  • Copy of recruitment report
  • Copies of all advertisements
  • Copy of prevailing wage

Process flow

  1. Submit request to IO;
  2. Upon approval, IO will notify department and beneficiary;
  3. IO will request beneficiary to select a university approved attorney;
  4. IO will notify attorney of approval and begin the process;
  5. IO coordinates with attorney and department on the job description;
  6. Attorney will coordinate with department to advertise (as described) and begin the recruitment process;
  7. After recruitment period, department selects and offers position;
  8. Sponsoring department prepares a recruitment summary report;
  9. Attorney drafts labor certification and submits to IO for review;
  10. Upon approval, attorney files labor certification with DOL;
  11. Upon certification, attorney prepares and submits form I-140 (immigrant petition) to IO;
  12. IO reviews and signs the I-140;
  13. Attorney submits to US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS);
  14. USICS approves, and attorney files form I-485 (adjustment application or "green card").

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