History of PERM
Immigration policy has long been an issue facing the American economy. The question of how many people should be allowed in for work as compared with the types of jobs they are taking has always been perplexing and challenging. The reality is that so many people want to come into the United States - both skilled workers and everyday folks - that there has to be a strong legal framework put in place to give priority to those that will make the biggest impact on the American economy. The dilemma is how to bring as many of the top minds to America as possible without compromising freedom of opportunity for skilled domestic laborers. Protecting the American worker in a globalized economy is clearly one of the central purposes of PERM, which explains why the Department of Labor is so particular about what kinds of domestic recruitment practices have been done before applying for PERM.
The Origins of PERM
PERM was set up in 2005 to deal with the dilemma of hiring foreign nationals in a globalized economy without undercutting general immigration procedures. The government noted that domestic firms were struggling to fill highly specialized roles from the domestic job market alone. While the American education system is strong in many respects, it has yet to provide the kind of cutting edge training in coding and mathematics that universities in other countries can boast. These are the two most common fields for which a labor certification is submitted, so in this regard the government was very accurate in their assessment of the domestic job market and its limitations. Indeed, the numbers for 2017 bear this out. Consider that the most new approvals have been for citizens of India, and have come from the state of California, the undisputed tech center of the world.
How It Works
The Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) is designed to allow domestic businesses the opportunity to sponsor a foreign national in their attempts to get status in the States. PERM only grants labor certifications, which is the first step that certain foreign nationals must take in their pursuit of a green card (employment-based immigration status). There are two types of visa that require a PERM certification: EB-2 and EB-3.
A lot of companies have had issues with how much paperwork is involved in the PERM application. These companies are usually innovators who don’t want to spend time on bureaucratic things like immigration application forms and documentation of recruitment advertising initiatives. These companies have made their concerns known to the government, and changes are certainly afoot to streamline the process. In general, however, PERM has been a great addition to the Department of Labor’s immigration advertising policy because it keeps America at the top of the globalized economy without compromising the domestic labor market. If anything it shows domestic workers what kinds of skills and training they require to keep up with the rise of automation and digital resources that are revolutionizing the workplace.