The US Department of Labor recently published a report on the Foreign Labor Certification program, commonly called "PERM."
According to the report, PERM approvals and applications as a whole have been declining since 2007. In fiscal year 2008, there was a 42 percent decrease from fiscal year 2007 in cases certified. In fiscal year 2009, there were 29,502 cases certified representing a 40 percent decrease from the number of cases certified in 2008.
There are currently more than 104,000 cases pending with the US Dept. of Labor. More than 64,000 of those cases were made just last year, meaning that many of these newer cases are creating a new "backlog" of cases waiting to be adjudicated. The US Dept. of Labor also admitted that the "limited number of Federal staff available to make final adjudicatory decisions adversely impacted quarterly production the result of which was a growing "backlog" during FY 2009."
It's more important ever to ensure that your PERM case is filed as soon as possible, but not without compromising the care that should be taken on each case to research options, job descriptions, salary provisions, etc. Each area of review on a PERM case may be a basis for an audit, which will delay a labor certification by at least a year and if it is denied, then you've also lost at least a year of time while exhausting the maximum time you can spend on H-1B status. While some audits cannot be avoided, if you are interested in consulting with an attorney regarding your potential PERM application, call the attorneys at Fong & Aquino. --ecf