Our office handles many 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 December 3, 2016.
Quick Summary of the Current PERM Processing Times
Dec 3, 2016
Sep 1, 2016
|PERM Regular||September 2016||3 months||June 2016||No change|
|PERM Audit||May 2016||7 months||January 2016||Decrease by 1 month|
|CO Reconsideration||November 2016||2 months||July 2016||Decrease by 1 month|
Details and Analysis of the PERM Processing Times
The processing times report by DOL for this month suggests that regular PERM processing times have remained stable while PERM processing times for audits and Certifying Officer request for reconsideration have improved (decreased) compared to the last report we published in September 2016. Regular PERM cases should take around three months now while PERM audits again decrease to 7 months.
The processing times, as reported by DOL, are as follows:
- Regular processing: September 2016. DOL is processing PERM applications with priority dates of September 2016. This report suggests that the processing times have remained unchanged at around three months. Our office has experienced PERM approvals consistent with this timeline and we can confirm it.
- Audited applications: May 2016. DOL is processing PERM audits which have a priority date (date of filing of the PERM application) of May 2016. This processing times report indicates another slight decrease in the processing time for audited PERM cases from the previous report in September 2016. Accordingly, audited PERM applications are processed approximately seven months after the initial PERM was filed and the priority date established.
- Appealed applications (requests for reconsideration to the Certifying Officer): November 2016. DOL is processing PERM appeals (requests for reconsideration to the certifying officer) which were appealed in November 2016. This metric shows that such requests take, on average, about the same amount of time they used to compared to September. Currently, it may take about two to three months to hear from the Certifying Officer after a PERM case is denied and a request for appeal is sent to the Certifying Officer.
- “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 December 2016 PERM processing times report shows that the PERM processing times are remaining unchanged and improving gradually PERM audits and requests for reconsideration. These processing times are among the lowest we have seen in recent times. We are hopeful that DOL will be able to work on continuing this trend and bringing the PERM processing times down over the next months.
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.