Labor Certification (PERM) Processing Times

April 22, 2009
Everyone has noticed how painfully slow labor certification (PERM) cases have become.  What was normally about a 45- 60 day adjudication period has now stretched out to 7- 9 months, on average.  Last week, the Dept. of Labor (DOL) announced that as of mid-March, they were working on cases that were originally filed in July 2008, and these are cases that were not selected for an audit.

A grim confirmation for cases that in the audit queue:  DOL confirmed they are now working on initial filing dates from September  2007.  Finally, for cases awaiting a response on appeal:  the DOL is working on cases with a priority date of June 2007.    

Gone are the days of re-filing PERM cases within a few months in case of a denial.  If it is taking 9 months for an initial adjudication and another 12 months for DOL's response to an audit response, applicants and employers will end up waiting over 18 months to find out if their PERM case is successful or not.  If your PERM case is denied, you will not know until 18 months after your initial filing!  Employers will have to conduct new advertisng and recruitment which means yes, starting from scratch.

While applicants and their employers may have no control over how long it will take DOL to adjudicate a labor certification application, finding the right immigration visa attorney to help you submit your PERM case is entirely within your control and discretion.  Take the time to find a qualified immigration attorney to maximize your chances at getting your PERM case filed successfully the first time.
--ecf