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Frequently Asked Questions

What is PERM?

Since March 28, 2005, all labor certification applications must be filed using the Permanent Electronic Review management (PERM) system. Under this system, the employer must obtain the prevailing wage determination, conduct the required recruitment and provide notice to employees prior to filing the application. The employer must attest to recruitment efforts in the application, but does not submit proof of these efforts with the application. The DOL may audit the file and ask for proof of recruitment as part of the audit.

Can an individual obtain permanent residence through investment?

In order to qualify as an immigrant investor, the individual must invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise, which employs at least ten US citizens, lawful permanent residents or other immigrants authorized to be employed in the United States on a full-time basis (exclusive of the individual, spouse, and children). If the investment is made either in a rural area or an area experiencing high unemployment, the minimum investment may be reduced to $500,000, but the latter option has a restricted quota of 3,000 investor visas for what are termed "targeted investment areas."

Due to the limited number of people applying under this category, the USCIS has issued regulations allowing more subjective and less literal readings of the law in these cases. However, because of fraud issues, there is a two-year conditional status accorded to such investors, similar to the conditional status of spouses of US citizens.