Who pays for attorney fees in Perm cases

A labor certification application (Perm) case typically involves an employer and an employee. Perm application is a complicated process. In most cases an attorney or attorneys are hired to file the Perm application on behalf of the employer. So is there a regulation on who can pay for the attorney's services on the work of filing Perm? Yes, there is. It is in 20 CFR part 656 (b):

"An employer must not seek or receive payment of any kind for any activity related to obtaining permanent labor certification, including payment of the employer's attorney's fees, whether as an incentive or inducement to filing, or as a reimbursement for costs incurred in preparing or filing a permanent labor certification application, . . . . . An alien may pay his or her own costs in connection with a labor certification, including attorneys' fees for representation of the alien, except that where the same attorney represents both the alien and the employer, such costs shall be borne by the employer."

This section goes further in defining what are included as employer payments for attorney fees:

". . . [P]ayment includes, but is not limited to, monetary payments; wage concessions, including deductions from wages, salary, or benefits; kickbacks, bribes, or tributes; in kind payments; and free labor."

The aforementioned regulation clearly states that the employer has to pay for attorney fees in labor certification applications. So what happens if the Department of Labor finds that the employer receive payment in connection with a Perm application? It is in section 656.12(c):

"[It] shall be grounds for investigation under this part or any appropriate Government agency's procedures, and may be grounds for denial under 656.32, revocation under 656.32, debarment under 656.31(f), or any combination thereof."

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