A PERM application is normally the initial step in obtaining an employment green card and is a very monitored process that should be carefully filed. In the past few years we’ve seen increased scrutiny towards PERM applications processed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as well as increased PERM denial rates due to erroneous errors on the part of DOL. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Green Card PERM filings audited as well as ways to circumvent additional delays.
PERM Audit Rate Rising
As of fiscal year for 2014, approximately 30 percent of PERM filings underwent a review out of a total 67,691 applications actually received. Of that number, just over 57,000 were certified, 4,162 were granted PERM denials and close to 4,000 were withdrawn. These PERM denial rates, approvals and withdrawals indicate a few important things. Not only were a significant number actually audited but DOL analysts are becoming even more stringent in the ways they process applications.
We’ve noticed the PERM audit rate remain relatively consistent between 25 and 33 percent in the last four years but we are seeing higher denial rates from fiscal year to fiscal year moving forward.
Why Are Some PERM Applications Audited?
While many PERM audits are selected at random, there are a number of red flags that prompt a DOL analyst to take a further look and scrutinize the details. In 2014, the DOL released it’s list of audit triggers which we explain in detail here. In that report, it was noted that there was a 50 percent audit rate for applications in which the job required a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree but not necessarily experience. Also a 50 percent audit rate for employers that had acknowledged a recent layoff and 50 percent audit rate for positions requiring less than a Bachelor’s degree minimum.
Received a PERM denial without audit? Click here to read about your options, next step and if refiling is a viable option for you.
What is Supervised Recruitment?
If the DOL comes to the conclusion that the petitioning employer failed to provide the proper documentation for the PERM application or if the analyst has additional concerns, they may conduct supervised recruitment. Basically, this requirement forces an employer to fulfill additional recruitment efforts after the labor certification is filed.
Click here to learn the PERM advertising requirements and process.
There are three main supervised recruitment triggers which you and your attorney should be made aware of. The first is if the same employer and employee file an application in the same year, after having received a PERM denial. The second red flag is if the same employee and employer file an application after a prior case was audited and withdrawn (in the same calendar year). The final red flag is if the case is not filed electronically. Again these are not automatics but they do raise suspicion by the Department of Labor. The delay, as the result of supervised recruitment, may add an additional 6 months-1 year for processing. For that reason, it’s always advised to contact a qualified PERM attorney when filing.
Current PERM Processing Times
Regular PERM Processing Time: Normal PERM application time (electronically) takes less than 60 days to complete. However, those who’s applications are audited may take 60-90 days.
Based on the Departent of Labor, data suggests that there is a slightly longer PERM processing time. On average, regular cases take roughly seven months. For government error applications, the processing time for PERMs in this category runs from thirty to 45 days. With that being said, however, there is not necessarily an indication whether DOL has accepted the appeal under the ‘government error’ queue or regular category. However, if your appeal is reviewed in that time frame, it’s safe to say the appeal has been accepted and is under the ‘government error’ queue. To get the most current and up-to-date processing times, visit the official iCERT Visa Portal System.
Contact a PERM Attorney
Our office is skilled at advising clients for PERM audits, and taking the necessary precautions to ensure they’re case does not trigger any red flags. The Fort Lauderdale immigration lawyers at SGM Law Group are available to discuss options by phone or Skype during your initial consultation. We pride ourselves in offering some of the most competitive application fees around and may even set up payment plans to accommodate your situation. Have additional questions related to the PERM audit rate or receiving an approval? Give us a call today!