PERM Labor Certification Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the PERM labor certification process?

The purpose of the PERM labor certification process is to determine whether there are qualified and available U.S. workers to fill a specific job position offered to a foreign worker. It is a key step in obtaining an employment-based green card.

Who is eligible for PERM labor certification?

Foreign nationals who have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer in certain employment-based immigrant categories, such as EB-2 and EB-3, are eligible for PERM labor certification.

How does the PERM labor certification process work?

The process generally involves the following steps:

The employer conducts a labor market test, including recruitment efforts to advertise the job position to U.S. workers.

If no qualified U.S. workers are found, the employer files a PERM labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

DOL reviews the application to ensure compliance with regulations.

If the application is approved, the employer can proceed with the next steps in the green card process, including filing an immigrant petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What recruitment efforts are required for PERM labor certification?

Recruitment efforts typically include placing job ads in newspapers, posting the job on a state workforce agency website, and conducting other recruitment activities to attract U.S. workers. The specific requirements may vary based on the job position and industry.

How long does the PERM labor certification process take?

The processing time for PERM labor certification can vary widely, but it often takes several months. Delays can occur due to factors such as DOL backlogs and the complexity of the case.

Can I change employers while my PERM labor certification is pending?

Changing employers during the PERM labor certification process can be complex and may require starting the process over with the new employer. Consult with your immigration attorney for guidance.

What happens if the PERM labor certification application is denied?

If the PERM labor certification application is denied, the employer may choose to refile the application if they believe that the denial was based on incorrect information or a misunderstanding of the requirements.

Can my family members (spouse and children) benefit from my PERM labor certification?

Your immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) may be eligible to apply for green cards as derivative beneficiaries based on your employment-based green card application once you receive the approved labor certification.

Is there a numerical cap on the number of PERM labor certifications issued each year?

There is no numerical cap on the number of PERM labor certifications issued by the U.S. Department of Labor each year.

Can I apply for U.S. citizenship (naturalization) after obtaining an employment-based green card through PERM labor certification?

Yes, after being a lawful permanent resident for a specified period, you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process.
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Dana Davidson - Full Bio

Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
  • Juris Doctor – 1988
  • Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts – 1982
  • Major: Political Science
  • Concentration: Business

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
  • Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
  • Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994 Bar Admission
  • New York, Eastern District
  • New York, Southern District
  • Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public Charge” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice Management in the New Age” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces: Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”  AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
  • Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
  • New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
  • AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
  • Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
  • Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at Dowling College
  • International Taxation Conference, 2010