Why Me? Employers and the PERM Audit

This article will explain the Department of Labor (DOL) PERM audit. We will explore what a PERM audit is; reasons why an audit may occur; how the audit will be conducted; and what are the consequences for an employer if an adverse finding is the outcome of the application.

WHAT IS AN AUDIT?

Unlike the Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) or Traditional Processing (ROR) processes, which required the employer to provide documentary evidence when filing the application, the PERM process allows the employer to file the application to the Department of Labor without submitting any supporting documentation. The regulations guide the employer as to what is required for filing a PERM application, and instruct that all documentary evidence should be maintained by the company for a period of five years. In most instances, when a government agency allows filings to occur without the submission of documentation (i.e. income tax return) they establish an audit procedure to ensure compliance with the government regulations. In basic terms, a PERM audit is merely a request by the government for the employer to provide documentary evidence, which proves all information that the employer attested to in the PERM application. The audit determines that all statutory and regulatory requirements have been met for the PERM application. The DOL will determine the following when processing the PERM application: 1) Did the employer meet the procedural requirements of the regulations; 2) Was the U.S. labor force tested and no qualified U.S. workers were found; 3) Will the employment of the alien have a damaging effect on wages and working conditions for U.S. workers likewise employed. The following are examples of what a PERM audit may review: are the employer’s job requirements too restrictive, does the wage offered by the employer meet the prevailing wage requirements, did the employer conduct proper recruitment and adequately test the U.S. labor market. An employer should gather and organize all documentation into a comprehensive file prior to submitting the PERM application. This documentation should be kept readily available in the event of an audit by the DOL for a period of five years. The DOL will no longer be issuing “Notice of Findings” (NOFs) as they had previously with the prior RIR and ROR systems. In the past, NOFs had allowed the employer to have an opportunity to correct any oversights that may have occurred in the application and resubmit the application for continued processing. The new PERM system will not issue NOFs, instead an audit letter will be sent to the employer requesting legal analyses and business necessity documentation in reference to the particular application under audit.

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Immigration Options For Entrepreneurs Seeking To Start Ventures In The United States

An international entrepreneur’s ownership of a U.S. business offers the entrepreneur a wide range of options for temporary and permanent immigration to the United States. Most nonimmigrant (temporary) options available to entrepreneurs are largely dictated by the individual’s personal history, goals and investment. This article will explore the business immigration options for foreign nationals seeking to start new business ventures in the United States.

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