What is PERM?
PERM is the abbreviation for “Program Electronic Review Management”. This is the first step when filing a Green Card or an employment-based immigrant visa for your foreign national employee. During this process, the employer:
Files a “prevailing wage request” to the Department of Labor (DOL) via its FLAG website. The DOL uses the request to determine and issue the employer with a prevailing wage determination (PWD). This PWD dictates the wage for the position based on worksite location and experience level required for the job.
Starts recruitment to ensure no willing and qualified U.S. domestic worker applies for the job. There are these mandatory postings that the employer needs to place -
An advertisement with the state workforce agency for 30 days
An advertisement with a major regional newspaper on two different Sundays
Job notice at the worksite for ten (10) consecutive days
Any of three additional activities, such as: participating in a job fair, placing TV or radio ads, on-campus recruiting, etc.
Files ETA Form - 9089 after the 30-day mandatory period has passed and provided no qualified U.S. domestic worker was found for the job. This form is filed online via the DOL’s website.
PERM Processing Time in 2024
The total time for the PERM process varies based on the underlying steps that need to be taken and approved. Let’s look at each step, and the estimated time it is currently taking to complete it.
Prevailing Wage Determination -
To determine the prevailing wage, the DOL is currently taking upwards of 168 days to approve. Currently, the applications submitted in June 2023 are being reviewed.
Some cases may also need to be reviewed by the DOL’s expert analysts after the prevailing wage is determined. This step can take over 346 days. Currently, the analysts are reviewing cases from December 2022.
Recruitment efforts - this step usually starts after the PWD and can take 30 to 60 days.
Form - 9089 - After filing the form, DOL on average is taking 346 days to adjudicate the PERM.
The three possible outcomes are -
If DOL requests an audit, then the employer has to provide additional evidence, and this might cause further delay. Currently, it is taking more than 496 days for DOL to reach a decision on applications flagged for audit.
How to check PERM Status?
Check the DOL’s PERM Processing time - you can use this link to check the processing time for the applications under review each month.
Check Filing Date - if your attorney has filed Form 9089 online, you can check the status using the DOL’s Permanent Case Management System.
Once the PERM is approved, the employer can file an I-140 petition for the foreign national employee.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.