Department of Labor Seeks to Institute Filing Fees for PERM Program

The Trump Administration has requested that employers be required to pay filing fees for sponsoring foreign national employees via the Department of Labor’s (DOL) PERM Labor Certification Program.

The PERM Program allows employers to sponsor foreign employees for lawful permanent residence (a Green Card) by showing that qualified U.S. workers cannot be found for the proffered position. Currently, use of the program is free of charge despite the considerable work and cost required on behalf of DOL staff to administer it.

The introduction of a fee structure could allow PERM to become a self-funded function along the lines of work visa programs administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), such as the H-1B, L-1 and O-1 visas. There is no indication at this point as to the amount of the potential fees. For comparison, filing fees at USCIS range from $300 to over $1,000.

The introduction of filing fees could also open the door to establishment of a premium processing service at DOL, which would be a welcome development given processing times ranging from 9 months to 18 months for PERM applications. Additional substantive and procedural changes could be in the works for PERM as mandated by the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order issued by President Trump earlier this year.

We invite clients of FordMurray to contact our office with any questions you may have on the potential changes to the PERM program.

If you represent a business, we can help you with your immigration needs. Immigration law is complicated, to say the least, and we specialize in helping businesses make sense of existing laws and comply with fast changing requirements.

Whether it’s hiring a foreign national and helping that individual immigrate into the United States, assisting an employee already living in the US with an immigration status, helping your business stay in compliance with immigration programs like I9 or EVerify, or assisting with other immigration matters… we want to help! Contact us today for more information!