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2024 PERM immigration process updates impact on tech startups

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Sophie Alcorn, a highly skilled Immigration and Nationality Law Certified Specialist Attorney in Silicon Valley, California, recently addressed concerns from “Hopeful HR,” a consulting firm that primarily serves tech startups, about the changes to the PERM process for 2024. The PERM process involves obtaining a permanent labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) to hire foreign workers on a permanent basis in the United States. Alcorn offered detailed insights into the revised PERM process, specifically addressing its implications for tech startups and outlining the necessary steps for successful applications. She stressed the importance of staying updated on the latest regulations and guidelines to ensure smooth processing and minimize potential penalties due to non-compliance.

Role of Immigration Attorneys

Alcorn greeted the firm with New Year wishes and expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming year in terms of immigration policy changes. She emphasized the importance of engaging in discussions with an immigration attorney to address the complexities of the PERM process, timeframes, potential risks, and alternative solutions based on a company’s hiring scenario and an employee’s immigration status. Alcorn highlighted the need to stay informed and prepared to adapt to new policies and requirements that may impact businesses and employees. Furthermore, she encouraged employers to maintain proactive communication with their immigration attorneys to ensure a smooth and compliant hiring process for foreign talent.

Current State of PERM

Alcorn provided an overview of the current state of the PERM process, explaining that the DOL grants PERM labor certification as the initial step for companies sponsoring present or potential employees for advanced degree or exceptional ability green cards, as well as green cards for professional workers. The primary objective of the PERM process is to protect wages for American workers and ensure that eligible and available U.S. workers have access to the job before a green card is granted to a candidate. Employers must demonstrate thorough recruitment processes, including notifying and considering U.S. workers for the available position and ensuring fair and unbiased job requirements to allow domestic workers to apply and be given due consideration before offering the position to a foreign national.

General Requirements for Employers

Alcorn outlined the general requirements for employers in the PERM process:

  1. Obtain a prevailing wage determination from the DOL.
  2. Test the labor market by advertising the job and recruiting U.S. workers.
  3. Document and evaluate the responses received from potential candidates during the recruitment process, ensuring a fair and transparent selection procedure.
  4. Complete and submit ETA Form 9089, providing information about the job duties, requirements, offered wage, and the employer’s recruitment efforts, to the DOL for review and approval.
  5. Submit a labor certification application (ETA Form 9089) to the DOL.
  6. After receiving approval, the employer must file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  7. Upon approval of Form I-140, the foreign worker can proceed with submitting their application for an adjustment of status (Form I-485) or consular processing.
  8. Completing these forms accurately and providing all required documents is crucial to prevent delays or complications in obtaining permanent residency for the foreign worker.

Featured Image Credit: Aathif Aarifeen; Pexels

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