Like the Programme Electronic Review Management (PERM) recruitment report, Form 9089 and the supporting documentation must be signed by a number of different persons and failure of the authorised person to sign in the right place often results in denial.

A variety of terms are used to indicate names and signatures on the forms and reports used in the PERM process, including 'contact', 'agent', 'attorney', 'alien', 'preparer', 'agent', 'representative' and two types of 'employer'. One meaning of the word 'employer' is the business entity that makes the offer of employment; the other is a person who is an authorised employee of the business entity. Both types of 'employer' are mentioned separately on Form 9089.

When a recruitment report is ready to be submitted, it must be signed "by the employer or the employer's representative". Here, the representative must be an employee such as a member of the human resources department.

In a recent case the Board of Alien Labour Certification (BALCA) upheld the Department of Labour's denial of a PERM application for an animator and graphic artist in Burbank, California. The person who signed the recruitment report was neither the employer nor a representative of the employer – such as a corporate human resources officer – but rather the immigration agent who had represented the employer during the PERM process.

The employer was confused by the conflicting terms and was unsure how the recruitment report should be signed. Even the judge who examined the appeal file declared that it was unclear what the Department of Labour was referring to when it stated that the recruitment report was not signed by the right person.

While the facts of this case involved a signature on a recruitment report, there are numerous other situations in the PERM process where persons must sign in their capacity as an 'agent', 'attorney', 'alien', 'preparer', 'representative' or 'employee' authorised to sign for the employer.

When the wrong person signs in the right place or the right person signs in the wrong place, the fault may largely be due to the ambiguous definitions and instructions in the regulations and on the forms. Evidently, the PERM application process is a difficult obstacle course to navigate.

For further information on this topic please contact Joel Stewart at Fakhoury Law Group PC by telephone (+1 248 643 4900) or email (joel.stewart@employmentimmigration.com). The Fakhoury Law Group website can be accessed at www.employmentimmigration.com.

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