Our office handles a substantial number of ETA Form 9089 – Permanent Labor Certification (“PERM”) applications and we are closely monitoring the current PERM processing times not only for the benefit of our clients but also to be able to predict longer-term trends in PERM processing.
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has provided an update on the current PERM filing and processing statistics in addition to the processing dates as of April 1, 2013.
Current PERM Processing Times
Most notable is the slight delay in the processing time for regular PERM applications — to approximately four months. The processing times, as reported by DOL, are as follows:
- Regular processing: December 10, 2012. DOL is processing PERM applications with priority dates of about December 10, 2012. Accordingly, regular PERM processing times should be around four to five months. Our office has experienced PERM approvals consistent with this timeline and we can confirm it.
- Audited applications: June 30, 2012. DOL is processing PERM audits which have a priority date of June 30, 2012. This processing time has remained steady over the past few months. Accordingly, audited PERM applications are processed approximately eight to nine months after the initial PERM was filed and the priority date established.
- Appealed applications (requests for reconsideration to the Certifying Officer): April 4, 2013. DOL is processing PERM appeals (requests for reconsideration to the certifying officer) which were appealed in April 2013. There is continued notable improvement in this category in comparison to prior months. Accordingly, PERM requests for reconsideration are processed within approximately one or two months after PERM appeal (motion for reconsideration to the Certifying Officer) is filed.
- “Government error” appealed applications. DOL has indicated that PERM appeals in this category are reviewed on a 30-45 day timeline. However, after filing an appeal, DOL does not make an indication whether a PERM appeal is accepted to be processed under the “government error” queue or under the regular appeal queue. As a result, DOL has indicated that the only way to know whether a PERM appeal has been accepted for processing under the “government error” queue is to wait for 45 days for response. If the PERM appeal is reviewed within this time, this would be an indication that a PERM appeal has been accepted (and reviewed) under the “government error” queue. If no response is received 45 days after filing of a PERM appeal, then this should be an indication that the PERM is pending under the regular appeals queue.
The April 2013 PERM processing times report shows steady trend in the regular and appealed PERM processing times, and a notable (and welcome) improvement in the PERM appeal (motion for reconsideration) processing times. We hope that DOL would be able to continue to improve the PERM processing times over the next weeks and months. We also hope the improvements in PERM audit and appeal processing times would continue in the fall and spring.
Our office has developed a great practice handling PERM filings and/or audit/appeal responses so please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help you. Also, we will continue monitoring the PERM processing times and analyze any updates. Please visit us again or subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to ensure that you obtain this and related immigration-related news and announcements.