For employers who have foreign nationals in H-1B status and wish to sponsor them for permanent residence, it is a good idea to start the PERM labor certification process early.

In most instances, labor certification is the first step towards obtaining a green card through employment.  It requires undergoing a recruitment process for the position and certification by the employer that no US workers were qualified and available for the position.  This is not always a simple task and has been referred to as the “root canal” of immigration law!

When a foreign national is in H-1B status, in order to extend their status beyond six years, the PERM application must be filed before the fifth year anniversary of the person’s H-1B status.  If this is not done, absent other avenues to immigrate to the US that may be available to an individual, the beneficiary will need to leave the US for a year before reapplying for H-1B status.

Therefore, to avoid a situation where issues arise with the PERM process, it is best to start recruitment, file early and preserve a priority date that will allow the continuity of H-1B employment.

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Author: Bradley Maged

I'm Brad Maged, an immigration lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts. I help people who want to live and work in the United States and companies that wish to employ them. This blog provides opinion and information on developments in immigration law. Thanks for reading!

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