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PERM Process Involved At Employer/Attorney Office, DOL Office And Case Status Check

by Jagan Tamirisa and Vamsi Tamirisa

Projected Timelines For PERM Processing

All clients frequently ask how much time it takes to process the PERM Labor Applications and what are all the steps involved in the process etc. So we thought we post this information as to what is usually involved in the process.

The filing process involves

(a) Preparing a job description and finalizing it with applicant's employer
(b) Placement and obtaining prevailing wage from DOL for the job (usually take 4 weeks depending on the state where the request is placed. Some states issue the wage relatively quick. It all depends on the work load in the state office)
(c) Placement of job order with State Department of Labor - SWA (The order must run at a minimum of 30-days and there is a mandatory waiting period for an additional 30-days after the conclusion of the job order so that any potential applicants can respond to the ad)
(d) Placement of mandatory job posting notice for 10-working days (The posting notice end date must compulsorily be 30-days prior to the filing of the application)
(e) Sending/receiving signed draft of the application from employee and employer, recruitment reports, posting notices etc.

On an average, it can take 120 days (safe window) to file the case after commencing the work. Obviously this is only an estimated timeframe and can vary based on several other factors, such as government holidays, receipt of timely information, if there are any DOL prevailing wage issues, problems at recruitment stages etc. Usually all cases are filed online. Once the case is eFiled, DOL usually takes a maximum of 90-days to process the case. The minimum can be any day(s).

What Will DOL Do Once PERM Case Is E-Filed?

Once the case is eFiled the usual steps involved at DOL end are:

(a) Validation: DOL online system first does validation checks to see if application is acceptable in initial eFiled form. At this point the PERM system shows application status as "Submitted". If there are errors the Online System "Logic" can deny the case automatically in which case employers will be notified by mail including with reasons for denial. In this case the PERM system shows application status as "Denied".

(b) Sponsorship: Assuming the validation checks will go through, next, Online system generates a sponsorship email which is emailed to the employer at the email address provided in the application. At this point the PERM system shows application status as "In Process". This step is to cross check on any fraud/awareness of filing the application by the employer or his/her representative at the company. The employer will be given 7-calendar days to respond to the email. If employer does not respond to the email questions then email link gets auto deactivated on 8th calendar day. However it does not mean that your application is denied. It means that sponsorship check is now done manual i.e., a DOL officer will personally call the employer and run few questions to check on the awareness of filing the application. If employer has responded to the email usually the Online System will send a confirmation email to the employer indicating the receipt of the answers and will also be notified that the application process will continue. We are not sure an email will be sent in case of manual sponsorship stage.

(c) Audit: Assuming that sponsorship step (b) has been completed, the application will now be reviewed by an expert DOL Analyst at their office to check on the job requirements, recruitment pattern sufficiency, and whether employee meets the requirements for the job etc. If the DOL Analyst is apprehensive of any questions in the cases she/he can issue an audit letter. Else, the Online system can also choose your application for a random audit. This involves request for production of all documents related to the application such as Prevailing wage, job order, signed application, recruitment results, posting notice etc with any additional information that may be required. Even at this point the PERM system will show case status as "In Process". Thus neither the employer nor the attorney can know if case has been selected for audit. Also note that at this point i.e., if you are being audited, employers cannot withdraw their application. The audit must be responded.

(d) Certified/Denied: Assuming (c) is replied to the DOL analyst will either grant certification (approve) to the application or deny it. Base on either situation the case status will reflect as either "Certified" or "Denied". If certified, the employer or the attorney, as the case may be, will receive the approved ETA-9089 certified form which must be signed upon receipt. This can be used to file for the next steps of the green card process i.e., I-140/I-485. If denied, the denial notice is sent along with reasons for denial. In this situation you will be given a chance to file for request for reconsideration/appeal. If you choose not to appeal, you can refile the case again so long as your recruitment is valid. If you choose to go for an appeal you cannot file another application.

The PERM Case Was E-Filed. Can I (Employee) Check The Case Status On My Own?

Unfortunately, and unlike USCIS website, there is no public portal system available for employee to check on the PERM case status on his own. Only the employer/Attorney can check on the case status.

About The Author

Jagan Tamirisa and Vamsi Tamirisa Jagan Tamirisa works at the Law Offices of Rakesh Mehrotra located in Vienna, Virginia (Washington DC metro). He can be contacted at Vamsi Tamirisa works at the Law Offices of George T. Ramani. He can be contacted at Note that the information contained above is intended to educate public generally about immigration, its benefits and is not intended to provide solutions to any individual's situation(s). This document has been compiled using several resources, including but not limited to the Internet. The information is generalized and on "as is" and "as available" basis without warranties of any kind. Therefore the general information being provided in this document must not to be construed as a legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.