U.S. Department of Labor Processing Times of PERMs and Prevailing Wages
Benjamin Brueggemann, Senior Supervising Attorney
Increased processing times is the name of the game at the U.S. Department of Labor. This not only goes for PERM applications, but also PERM Audit reviews and Prevailing Wage Requests.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is currently processing PERM cases received in July 2020. Specifically, the DOL states that the average perm application takes about 207 days, which is about 6.9 months. This is extremely high, even for U.S. Department of Labor standards. Historically, PERM processing times have ranged from 3 to 5 months, but now they are at almost 7 months. The hope is that we will see a shift back to more “normal” processing times in the year 2021 as the U.S. Department of Labor works through this backlog in cases.
PERM Audits have also seen an increase in processing times. Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor reports they are reviewing audit cases from March 2020. This would mean an average processing time of about 11 months for when an audit is received on a PERM application. We are committed to reducing the number of audits for our PERM cases; however, the U.S. Department of Labor also randomly audits PERM cases. As such, audits cannot be fully avoided and remain a possibility.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the department is currently processing prevailing wages received in August 2020. Specifically, the DOL states that prevailing wages take about 157 days to process. This is about 5.2 months as an average processing time, which is a much slower pace than historically, where prevailing wage requests took about 3 to 4 months. An audit of our own case filings suggests that the current processing times for prevailing wages are at about 5 to 5.5 months. This falls squarely in line with the published processing times for the DOL.
Lastly, redetermination requests for prevailing wages are taking about 2 months to process and reconsideration requests for PERM applications are taking about 5 months to process.
Overall, cases pending at the U.S. Department of Labor are being processed at a higher-than-average processing time. We hope that, as the DOL works through these backlogs, we will see increased processing times again as the year progresses.
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