PERM Processing Time: How Long Does it Take

Matthew Thomas

A certification that is good for an undetermined amount of time is known as a PERM in the field of employment law. It is a process that certain American firms are required to go through in order to hire foreign nationals for positions that will last for an extended period of time (as opposed to positions that would only last for a short period of time).

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is in charge of monitoring the process, which is designed to ensure that domestic employees will not be put at a disadvantage as a result of the hiring of an international worker.

Employers are required to first determine whether or not there are eligible U.S. workers available for a post before they can submit a PERM application with the Department of Labor (DOL). This can be accomplished by advertising the position extensively.

After that, the Department of Labor will evaluate the application in order to determine whether or not to provide a labor certification based on the information provided in it. If the request is successful, the employer will be able to continue with the immigration visa application for the international worker.

The PERM Certification Process

1. Recruitment

To begin, they need to circulate a job description throughout the community to see whether anyone is interested in applying for the post. This procedure includes utilising employee referral and job placement services, advertising via print and online media, and making use of advertising space to promote your business.

2. Application

Following the conclusion of the recruitment process, if the employer is unable to locate any suitable United States workers, they have the option of submitting a PERM application to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The application provides details on the position being applied for, as well as the company, the prospective employee, and the recruitment efforts that have already been made.

3. Audit

There is a possibility that the DOL will choose certain applications to undergo an audit, which is a more in-depth evaluation of both the application and the recruitment activities. During this procedure, it is possible that the employer will be needed to supply further documentation and information.

4. Decision

The Department of Labor will issue a determination about the certification of the labour force after conducting an investigation into the application. In the event that the certification is granted, the employer will be able to move through with the process of acquiring an immigrant visa for the foreign employee.

5. Appeal

In the event that the employer’s application for certification is rejected, they have the option of appealing the decision to the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).

The duration of the entire procedure can range anywhere from 6 months to an entire year or even longer, depending on the degree of difficulty of the situation and the volume of work being processed at the DOL processing center. It is essential to keep in mind that the procedure may take more time for particular categories of cases and in particular geographic locations.

Related: Who is Eligible for the PERM Process?

PERM Processing Time

The length of time required by the Department of Labor (DOL) to review and approve a PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) labour certification application is referred to as the PERM processing time. The length of time it takes to process an application to the DOL might change based on a number of factors, including the case’s complexity and the agency’s workload.

To the best of my knowledge, the PERM processing time takes between 6 to 12 months for a PERM application to be processed on average. Keep in mind, though, that this is just an estimate, and that different cases may take more or less time to resolve.

The iCERT system at the DOL will let you know where your application stands. Your case could take longer to process if it is selected for audit (also known as a “supervised recruiting” or “audit”).

A PERM labour certification application’s processing time does not include the time it may take to obtain a visa.

Which Workers Are Eligible for a PERM Visa?

Certain requirements need to be met before a foreign worker may be considered for an immigrant visa known as an EB-2 or EB-3. The Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) visa is another name for these categories. The employee is required to:

  • Have the appropriate credentials and work experience to carry out the duties of the position, as established by the Department of Labor (DOL) of the United States of America through the process of labour certification.
  • You must be able to provide evidence that there are no qualified workers in the United States who are now available to fill the position.
  • Not result in the loss of any jobs for citizens of the United States.
  • It must not have a negative impact on the pay and working conditions of similarly employed workers in the United States.
  • Ensure that you satisfy any additional requirements that the DOL may have stated for the particular occupation or sector.

It is essential to keep in mind that the EB-2 Visa category is reserved for employees who have earned a graduate degree or its equivalent, as well as for people who have demonstrated extraordinary skills in the fields of the arts, sciences, or business. While skilled workers, professionals, and other workers can apply for the EB-3 visa category.

How to Check Your PERM Case Status

Checking the status of your Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) case can be done in a few different methods, including the following:

  1. Online: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has an online case status system called the iCERT Visa Portal System where you can check the status of your case. You will need to have your case number and PIN to access the system.
  2. Phone: You can also call the DOL’s National Processing Center (NPC) and ask for an update on your case. The NPC’s phone number is (404) 893-0101. You will need to provide your case number and employer identification number (EIN) when you call.
  3. Email: You can send an email to the DOL’s NPC at Please include your case number, employer name, and EIN in your email.
  4. Fax: You can also fax your inquiry to the NPC at (404) 893-4642. Make sure to include your case number, employer name, and EIN in your fax.

It is essential to keep in mind that the Department of Labor’s processing time can vary, and it is recommended that you check the progress of your case on a frequent basis, but no more than once a week.

Related: What is the Timeline for the Perm Process?

What are the Possible Reasons for Denial

There are several different factors that can lead to an application for Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) being rejected by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The following are some of the most frequently cited explanations:

  • Inadequate recruitment: The employer did not conduct sufficient recruitment attempts to demonstrate that there were no eligible U.S. workers available for the job. Consequently, the court ruled that the company was not entitled to a dismissal of the case.
  • Inadequate qualifications for the job: The applicant has listed qualifications for the position, but these qualifications either do not match the real needs of the job, or they are excessively limiting.
  • Information that is either incorrect or missing: The application has information that is either erroneous or missing, such as salary data that is incorrect or documentation that is missing.
  • Displacement of workers in the United States: If the foreign worker were to take the job, it would result in the displacement of workers in the United States.
  • The hiring of a foreign worker would have a negative impact on the earnings and working conditions of similarly employed United States workers. This would be the case because foreign workers tend to be paid less than their American counterparts.
  • Infractions of labour laws: The employer has committed infractions of labour laws or regulations, such as discriminating against workers in the United States.
  • Fraudulent Activity: On the application, either the employer or the foreign worker has lied or made false statements, which is considered to be fraudulent activity.

It is essential to keep in mind that the DOL may also reject an application for additional reasons that are not included in this list. In the event that the application is rejected, the employer may have the option of appealing the decision with the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).

Related: What Are the Key Steps in the Perm Process?

What to do if your PERM Application is rejected

You have numerous options available to you if your application for Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is denied, including the following:

  1. Review the denial letter: Carefully review the denial letter to understand the reason(s) for the denial.
  2. Check for errors or inaccuracies: Make sure that the information provided on the application is accurate and that all required documentation has been submitted.
  3. File an Appeal: If the denial is based on a technicality or an error on the part of the DOL, you may be able to file an appeal with the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA). The appeal process can take several months.
  4. Re-file the application: If the denial is based on a substantive issue, such as insufficient recruitment efforts or improper job qualifications, you can re-file the application after addressing the issue(s) identified by the DOL.
  5. Hire an attorney: If you are having difficulty understanding the reason for the denial or navigating the appeals process, consider hiring an immigration attorney to assist you.

It is essential to keep in mind that the DOL may reject an application for other reasons besides those discussed in this article. Because of the unique nature of each situation, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of an immigration lawyer who has prior experience working on PERM cases. This will enable you to better comprehend your choices and move forward in the most effective manner.

Related: Can I Change Employers During the PERM Process?

Frequently Ask Question

What types of jobs are eligible for a PERM labor certification?

If a company can demonstrate that there are no competent United States workers available for the position, then that employer may apply for a PERM labour certification on behalf of their employee. This applies to the vast majority of professional and skilled employment.

What is the process for filing a PERM application?

The company must prove that no competent U.S. workers are available for the position by conducting a recruitment drive. After compiling the necessary recruitment paperwork, the company must submit a PERM application to the Department of Labor. The application will be reviewed by the DOL, which may follow up with questions or even an audit.

How long does the PERM application process take?

The amount of time it takes to process a PERM application can vary, but to the best of my knowledge, the typical amount of time it takes is between 6 to 12 months.

Can an applicant work while the PERM application is pending?

Unfortunately, the foreign worker will not be permitted to work while the PERM application is being processed.

What happens if the PERM application is approved?

If the petition for employment authorization through the federal register (PERM) is granted, the employer may submit an immigration petition (I-140) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign worker. While the immigration petition is being processed, the foreign worker may be eligible to apply for a work permit.

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Immigration attorney Matthew Thomas has 10+ years of expertise. He helps people and families navigate the complicated immigration procedure and achieve their goals. Matthew Thomas has helped customers get visas, green cards, and citizenship through comprehending U.S. immigration regulations. Matthew Thomas volunteers in community events to educate immigrants and promote awareness of immigration issues in addition to his legal practice. Matthew Thomas is a trusted immigration attorney that provides tailored and effective counsel.