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.