Positions that require at least a Master’s degree and have a Specific Vocational Preparation [hereinafter SVP] code of 8 or higher and which are to be filed by an alien who has a U.S. Master’s degree or higher should be automatically exempt from the PERM requirement. The Department of Labor created SVP codes with 9 levels. The employer would file directly with the U.S. CIS an I-140 Petition and Wage Determination. The employer would also be required to pay an additional $2,500 fee to the U.S. CIS which could be used to create higher education scholarship funds or training for U.S. workers.

The PERM process is burdensome and unnecessary for industries that have a clear shortage of applicants with a specific skill set. Moreover, the Department of Labor will have fewer applications for the PERM Process while still controlling the application process for permanent residency as the Department of Labor can continually adjust the “short list” of skilled jobs needed in the U.S. economy.


This chapter will primarily focus on obtaining permanent residency via Program Electronic Review Management [hereinafter PERM] certification process for skilled workers, professionals, and advance degree holders. Currently, (other than National Interest Waiver Cases) any such PERM case must be first certified by the Department of Labor. This process can take several months and often costs thousands of dollars in advertising and other fees.

We would have the Department of Labor to issue an annual list of occupations that have been clearly recognized as in “short demand” for each state. The list would also include the Department of Labor’s findings on what the minimum requirement for the position should be as well as the minimum wage. As these occupations would be recognized by the Department of Labor as in demand, the standard labor certification process of pre-advertising and wage requirement would be omitted.

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