Employers seeing increased delays in receipt of certified PERM applications

Submitted by micol on Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:50

Many immigration attorneys and the employers they counsel have recently reported significant delays in receiving certified PERM applications by mail from the Department of Labor (DOL). The Labor Certification process for foreign national employees (commonly referred to as "PERM") requires employers to test the job market and only if they cannot find a minimally qualified U.S. worker for the offered position can they submit the PERM application to DOL to be certified.  Once certified, employers can then file the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), the next step for foreign national employees to be eligible for filing their green card applications.
 
Earlier this year, attorneys began reporting significant delays in receiving Prevailing Wage Determination requests from DOL. These delays persist, and in addition to new delays with receipt of final PERM certifications by mail, attorneys are now also indicating they have seen an increase in the time it takes to get email confirmation of the approval. All of these delays are alarming in light of the fact that certified PERMs are valid for a limited time, impacting employers seeking to file Forms I-140 on behalf of employees and for some of those employees to file their I-485 application (commonly referred to as the "green card" application"). Immigration attorneys have notified DOL they are seeing delays of up to three weeks, and in response the agency stated that PERM applications certified on or after October 24, 2017, will be mailed within the standard mail delivery processing times. While this is welcome news, it is imperative that all employers remember that a certified PERM application remains valid for only 180 days, during which time the I-140 must be filed. 

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