The PERM Game

The Perm process is like a game. The basic proof is that there are no qualified Americans to do the job, and hence we must give permanent residency to the alien so that she can complete the job. To do this, the employer has to “test the market” by advertising and trying to recruit Americans, and if that fails then it proves that there are no qualified applicants in that area to do the job. But this recruitment process is very unlike what a real life employer would do, despite what the DOL (that is the Department of Labor, not the Dummies on Life) would say.

First there are strict requirements of who can do the job. Under the DOL guidelines Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Michael Dell would not be able to perform a “professional” software job, because they do not possess a degree.

There are series of hoops and you negotiate through, the job title, the job description, the requirements (the all important EB-2 or 3) the OES (Obviously Enormously Stupid Department which takes every job and categorizes them arbitrarily into 4 job zones) and the prevailing wage category. None of this is natural, none of it real world. Its just your ability to play the game right. Its a great game for us, English majors who could never shoot an actual hoop.

Then you advertise in the Sunday Newspaper, who reads those anymore? Maybe the dinosaurs at the DOL still do, but when was the last time a computer professional actually looked at a newspaper?

Oh yes, and the all important SWA ads sites, the Department of Labor’s job search web site. I wonder what the google ranking for those web sites are for specific search terms. I typed in “tech jobs in Texas” and did not see workintexas web site in the first page. Did anyone ever get an actual job from that web site?

Of course if you play this game right, and jump through all the hoops, you can file your case. But then comes the certifying officer. I wonder under the trickle down brain theory, what the IQs are for federal officers. The chief executive was rejected by St John’s School, Houston, got into Yale through legacy, and probably has an IQ of about 100. So what does my certifying Officer have?

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