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Obtaining a PERM/Labor Certification for an EntryLevel Employee

Today’s issue is obtaining a PERM/Labor Certification for an entry-level employee, Part I. Although this looks daunting, it is actually straightforward in the normal course of career progression.

Robert graduates from Faber College with a master’s degree in accounting. He is hired by ABC Accountants, LLC, and begins his accounting career. For the purposes of today’s issue, we are not addressing any OPT, STEM OPT or H-1 issues.

After several years, Robert inquires about starting the LPR/PERM process, and eventually the firm agrees to go forward. What everyone knows at this point is we will not successfully test the labor market using Robert’s current position. That position only requires a master’s degree and no experience (which is what Robert had when initially hired, and he has not changed jobs). As a general rule, we do not use entry-level jobs for PERM cases.

However, Robert is an outstanding employee and is offered a promotion from Acct. I to Acct. II, which he accepts. Again, leaving H-1 issues aside for today, the new Acct. II position should have an experience requirement. So, this position should require a master’s degree in accounting and, let’s say, two years of accounting experience. Will this work for our test of the labor market? Probably not; there are thousands of US workers with a Master’s degree in accounting and two years of accounting experience.

So, how do we go forward with the PERM case? The “secret surprise” to PERM cases like this is that companies and firms specialize. Likely Robert does not have two years of experience in general accounting. More likely, the firm specializes, let’s say, in oil and gas tax auditing, and that is the experience the position requires. Or Robert works for a larger accounting firm that has different sections for different skill sets, like oil and gas tax audits. A test of the labor market should be successful with the appropriate requirement of software, computer languages, government regulations, etc., which are specific to the Acct II position with this firm.

Our next edition will address the H-1 issue associated with the PERM process for an entrylevel employee, outlined above.