The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released its quarterly report on PERM for the first quarter of FY 2009 covering October 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. For comparison, you can read about the previous DOL report here.
There are some interesting numbers. Unfortunately, the news is not good for PERM applicants. As of December 31, 2008, there were 53,200 active PERM cases pending at DOL. This is significantly higher than the 40,200 cases which were pending as of September 30, 2008. This means that for the past three months, the backlog at DOL’s PERM processing centers has increased by 13,000 cases, or by 32%. For the same period, between October 1 and December 31, 2008, DOL received 20,752 new PERM applications but it completed only 4,571 cases.
These numbers confirm our observations that PERM applications are backlogging significantly and the processing time is likely to skyrocket over the next 6-12 months. According to (fairly reliable) information compiled by our friends at trackitt.com, the PERM processing times have been steadily increasing from somewhere around 70 days in late 2007 and early 2008 to 200-200 days in mid 2008. Based on DOL’s statistics, we expect the PERM processing times to incrase more.
We will continue monitoring the PERM timelines and attempt to draw some conclusions which would help our clients plan their immigration strategy. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates on this topic.