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I Received a PERM Audit. What Do I Need to Do?

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The processes surrounding employment-based immigration can be daunting, particularly when complications arise. If you have received a PERM audit, it's natural to feel uncertain about how to proceed. From understanding the nuances of the audit process to devising effective strategies for how to respond, the information below will prepare you to handle this situation as efficiently as possible.

What is PERM?

The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) process is an essential step in obtaining permanent labor certification for foreign workers seeking employment-based green cards. It requires employers to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available to fill the available position for which they are hiring a foreign worker.

PERM is an integral component of the employment-based immigration process, serving as a mechanism to protect the interests of both foreign workers and the U.S. labor market.

  • For foreign workers, PERM offers a structured pathway to obtain permanent labor certification, ensuring that they are not subjected to exploitative or unfair labor practices.
  • By requiring employers to show that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position in question, PERM also protects the US labor market from displacing American workers and undercutting wages.

The duration of the PERM process varies significantly based on multiple factors. Generally, however, it takes from several months to a year to complete. Working with an immigration attorney can help you navigate the process and manage expectations regarding timeline and potential delays.

What Is a PERM Audit?

A PERM audit is a request for additional documentation and information from the Department of Labor (DOL), which oversees the PERM process, to verify the accuracy and legitimacy of the information provided in the employer's PERM application. This may include requests for evidence related to the recruitment process, job requirements, and the employer's business operations.

While receiving a PERM audit can be unnerving, approaching this process with diligence and meticulous attention to detail can greatly improve your chance of a successful outcome. One thing is certain, however — it is critical to work with an experienced immigration attorney if you have received a PERM audit.

Causes and Triggers of PERM Audits

Several factors can trigger a PERM audit, including inconsistencies in the application, discrepancies in the documentation provided, or red flags in the recruitment process. Some audits occur randomly. Additionally, certain industries and occupations may be subject to heightened scrutiny, increasing the likelihood of a PERM audit. Understanding these triggers can help employers and foreign workers proactively address potential areas of concern and mitigate the risk of an audit.

How to Reduce the Risk of a PERM Audit

To reduce the risk of a PERM audit and optimize the chances of a successful application, it is imperative for employers to engage in thorough preparation and adhere meticulously to the regulatory requirements governing the PERM process. Below are key strategies and considerations to reduce the likelihood of a PERM audit and ensure compliance with the stringent guidelines:

  • Comprehensive Documentation — Employers should maintain detailed and comprehensive records of the recruitment process. This includes collecting and retaining all relevant documentation such as job advertisements, details of outreach efforts, resumes of applicants, and records of any communication with potential candidates. Robust documentation serves as evidence of the employer's genuine efforts to recruit U.S. workers for the position, thus bolstering the credibility of the application.
  • Consistency and Accuracy — Ensuring that all information presented in the PERM application is consistent, accurate, and verifiable is critical. Discrepancies or inconsistencies in the application materials can raise red flags and increase the likelihood of an audit. Therefore, attention to detail and a thorough review of the application prior to submission are essential in maintaining the integrity of the filing.
  • Adherence to Regulatory Requirements — Employers must strictly adhere to the regulatory requirements outlined by the DOL throughout the PERM process. This includes compliance with prevailing wage determinations, adherence to recruitment guidelines, and adherence to specific job requirements as stipulated in the labor certification application.
  • Seek Guidance from an Immigration Lawyer — An experienced immigration lawyer can provide invaluable support throughout the PERM process. They can offer guidance on crafting a robust recruitment strategy, ensuring compliance with DOL regulations, and conducting a thorough review of the application to minimize the potential for audit triggers. Engaging legal counsel can significantly enhance the overall integrity of the application process and mitigate the risk of audits by leveraging their in-depth knowledge and expertise in immigration law.

Contact an Orange County Immigration Attorney Today

If you have received a PERM audit or are preparing to initiate the PERM process, reach out to Yekrangi & Associates for personalized guidance and the highest level of legal representation available. We are dedicated to empowering foreign workers and employers to achieve their immigration goals with integrity and precision. Contact Yekrangi & Associates today to learn more about how we can support you through the PERM process and all aspects of immigration law.

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