Moving to USNewsMar 21, 2024

The Average Processing Times for PERM in 2024

The US is a land built on immigration and welcomes between 3 and 5 million immigrants each year. There are many different ways to legally move to the US, and one of the most popular ones is to get an employment-based visa. But before you can get one, your future employer needs to go through a lengthy labor certification process and deal with the long PERM processing time.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about PERM and PERM processing time. We’ll also tell you about the different steps your future employer must take and how long each of those steps can last before you can get your employment-based visa.

Let’s start.

What Is PERM Processing Time in 2024 And How to Check It?

The DOL processes more than 150,000 PERM applications each year. To check the processing time, go to the official DOL page and see what applications are currently under review. 

On the page, you’ll see how many requests and for what type of visa the DOL still has to process each month. At the time of writing this article, the DOL is reviewing applications from February 2023, which means if you apply right now, you’ll end up waiting for at least another year.

What Is PERM?

PERM or Program Electronic Review Management is the first part in the lengthy process of employers sponsoring employees for permanent residence in the US. This process, also known as PERM Labor Certification, allows foreign nationals to obtain an employment-based visa (i.e., Green Card) and gain the status of a lawful permanent resident. The US Department of Labor (DOL) is in charge of the PERM process, which involves evaluating the US labor market to see whether there are US workers who are able or willing to work in the position noncitizen is applying for (i.e., employer of the noncitizen). 

How Does the PERM Process Work?

A PERM certification issued by the DOL gives a US employer the legal right to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the States. In most cases, before the employer submits immigration papers on behalf of the employee and to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they must acquire a Labor Certification application from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). 

By obtaining the PERM certification, the US employer can claim to the USCIS that there are not enough US workers available for the job position they’re looking to hire. And, that employing a foreign national won’t negatively affect the salaries or working conditions of US citizens employed in similar roles.  

us department of labor perm processing time

PERM Processing Time: Main Steps Employers Must Do

To evaluate how long PERM processing time is, you should be aware of all the steps employers must go through to help a foreign national get an employment-based visa. 

Step 1 

The employer must file the Prevailing Wage Request with the Department of Labor and through its Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) site. The DOL evaluates the employer’s application to determine whether it’s valid or not. If it is, the DOL will issue a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD), which directs the salary for the position based on various factors (e.g., the level of experience required for the job, the exact type of industry, etc.). 

From sending the Prevailing Wage Request to receiving the PWD, employers can expect to wait more than 168 days (or around half a year). However, it’s important to mention that in special cases, this process may end up taking around 340 days.

Step 2

The employer must start the recruitment process to make sure there are no willing or qualified US workers for the job. They are mandated by law to post the following:

  • A job advertisement with the workforce agency for 30 days
  • A job advertisement in a major regional newspaper on two different Sundays
  • A Job notice at the work location that must be up for ten consecutive days 
  • Additional job advertisement activities: placing job ads on TV or radio, going to job fairs and looking for applicants, etc.

This step can take between 30-60 days to complete.

Step 3  

The employer must file the ETA Form 9089 after the mandatory 30-day recruitment process (step 2), and only if no qualified US worker has applied for the job. This form can be completed online through the DOL’s website.

This step can take 311 days unless the DOL requests an audit. In that case, the processing times can increase to roughly 498 days

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Founder & CEO
Luka Malkovich is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in international real estate investing. As the CEO of Nonresident Investor, Luka’s mission is to educate foreign nationals about the US real estate market and help them secure funding and buy property in America. That’s why he’s using his expertise to turn the NRI blog into a knowledge hub for anyone interested in learning about US real estate. This article was written by a professional content writer in conjunction with Luka Malkovich. Luka has thoroughly reviewed this article and has given his final approval before publishing.

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