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Essence Of PERM

Perhaps we are sticking out our necks too early, but here goes: the essence of the PERM rule can be understood with this somewhat over-simplified equation:
PERM = No SWAs + Recruitment attestation
The two issues above (elimination of the SWAs and attested recruitment instead of supervised recruitment) capture the main changes that attorneys might notice under the new PERM regime as compared to the old, familiar labor cert system that attorneys have gotten accustomed to. In other words, for many attorneys (after the initial period of learning the new ropes) PERM may come to look like a more onerous and nationalized RIR system.

This is hardly to say that there is not much new in PERM. Learned minds across the country are trying to fathom what the PERM rule has wrought, and surprises are already apparent, some welcome, some horrifying. On the good news front, for those who process Physical Therapist cases, the PERM rule simplifies things by requiring only evidence from a state board that the alien is eligible to take the NPTE (rather than having passed the NPTE). On the bad news front, the new 20 CFR 656.32(a) puts it plainly: "The Certifying Officer ... may ... revoke an approved labor certification, if he/she finds the certification was not justified." It is hard to imagine a surer way of removing any certainty from the system.

[Editor's Note: corrected 01/03/05]

All those interested in preparing for PERM are well-advised to read "The Lawyer's Guide To 212(a)(5)(A): Labor Certification From 1952 To PERM" by Gary Endelman. Readers may also want to check out our latest PERM seminar and THE PERM BOOK (both pages are updated regularly with new info as it arrives).

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to