PERM is the first step in the green card process for most employment-based applicants. This requires the employer to conduct a recruitment campaign in good faith to demonstrate that there are no available, willing and qualified US workers to fill the position in question.
To submit a PERM application (ETA 9089) the employer is first required to obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD).
As of 08/31/2022 the Department of Labor (DOL) is processing requests submitted in January 2022. However, based on the last three PWDs which our firm has received they are taking 6 months and 5 days.
For those wanting to file the wage request and conduct the recruitment campaign in parallel, it is recommended to wait at least 2 months after making the wage request before starting the first piece of recruitment. That way if the wage comes back higher/lower than anticipated, the employer has sufficient time to re-post the internal notice with the new wage and still file the PERM before the recruitment expires.
Once the PERM is filed for an employer can expect the following processing times to apply:
The above reflects the processing times on the DOL website as of 08/31/22.
Our most recent approved case without an audit was approved on 08/29/22. This case was filed on 01/05/22 and is therefore consistent with the above processing times. That case took 236 days to be approved, approximately, close to 8 months.
Another case that we filed, and which was audited, was just approved on 09/15/22. This case was originally filed on 11/22/2021. The audit was issued on 05/24/22. The total processing time was 297 days, almost 10 months. This is consistent with what we have seen in the past. What this means is that if the case gets audited it will only potentially delay the processing by 2 months.
PERM approval is now taking longer than it was 12 months ago when 6 months was the norm.
The data on the DOL website shows that DOL was receiving, on average, 11,867 PERM-related PWDs per month from September 2021 through December 2021. However, this number has now increased to 15,414 on average per month from May 2022 to August 2022.
Given this increase in the number of wage requests, we can expect the number of PERMs to increase, which is likely to increase the overall processing times.
Employers looking to start the green card process for their employees need to plan accordingly based on the above processing times, especially for those employees who have already been on H-1B for several years. Obtaining PERM and I-140 approval is key to extending employee’s H-1Bs beyond the 6-year limit.
If you have any questions related to the above, please contact PLG Partner at email@example.com.