The Department of Labor has provided some updates for the first quarter of the Fiscal Year 2013 (October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012) on their processing of PERM cases and we are happy to share them with our clients and readers.
DOL Processing Statistics (First Quarter, 2013 Fiscal Year)
According to the report, during the quarter, there were 16,724 cases received (slight decrease from previous quarters), 12,123 certified (notable increase from prior quarters), 1,532 denied (another notable decrease) and 680 withdrawn. Since the net amount of applications filed exceeded the number of applications adjudicated, DOL’s PERM load has grown during the quarter by about 2,000-3,000 cases.
As of December 31, 2012, there are 29,344 (increase from prior quarters) PERM cases pending at DOL. Of these, 48% are pending analyst review (slight decrease), 37% are in audit (no change), 14% are on appeal (substantial increase) and 1% are in sponsorship verification (at filing). It is interesting to note that there were no cases reported in supervised recruitment — we believe that this may be incorrect reporting, because there are supervised recruitment cases right now at DOL.
Prevailing Wage Determinations
The prevailing wage report provides some detailed breakdown of the rate of filings in addition to details about top employers, top occupations and top areas. During the first quarter, there were approximately 31,000 prevailing wage determination requests filed — of those, 25,747 were for PERM cases, 1,804 were for H-1B cases (notable decrease) and 3,130 were for H-2B cases (notable increase).
In terms of activity, more prevailing wage determinations were issued in Q1 compared to prior quarters – 33,246. The number of pending applications has decreased over each of the months in the quarter and is at 11,519 at the end of the quarter.
The H-1B/LCA report also provides a breakdown in the rate of filings, in addition to some details about the top LCA filers, in addition to the top positions and geographic areas. Since this quarter fell entirely outside of the H-1B cap filing season, the number of LCA filings is low compared to other quarters during the year. There were 58,812 H-1B LCA filings in the first quarter, a decrease over prior quarters which is, again, mainly attributed to the lack of H-1B cap filings. During the quarter, there were 56,637 LCAs certified for 175,806 positions (one LCA can include more than 1 position).
According to DOL, 99% of the LCAs are processed within seven days of receipt. The rate of LCA denial is very small (1,461, out of 66,303) and the main reasons are (1) FEIN mismatch or failure to verify before LCA filing or (2) prevailing wage tracking number issues.