Perm Processing Time: How to Reduce It Effectively

Perm Processing Time, also known as the PERM labor certification processing time. It is the average amount of time it takes for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to process an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (Form ETA 9089). This application is a crucial step in the green card process for foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the United States. 

The perm processing time can vary depending on several factors, including the type of visa. The job classification, and the current workload at the DOL. In general, the perm processing time can range from six to twelve months.

What is a Perm Processing Time?

Perm processing time, which is also called labor certification processing time. OD News: The duration for the U.S. Department of Labor to decide on an employer’s labor certification application, determining permanent status for sponsored foreign workers.

This process involves a series of steps. It includes determining the prevailing wage for the occupation. Conducting a recruitment campaign ensures no qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the position.

According to data from the DOL, the average perm processing time has fluctuated in recent years. But it currently stands at around 11 to 12 months. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether it is subjected to an audit. For instance, cases involving specialized occupations or those with intricate prevailing wage determinations may experience longer processing times.

Employers can take proactive measures to reduce perm processing time by carefully preparing and submitting the application. Promptly addressing any requests for evidence, and being responsive to inquiries from the DOL. Additionally, utilizing premium processing services, which expedite certain steps in the process, can further streamline the timeline.

How long does it take to get a perm processing Time?

Perm Processing Time, the duration it takes for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to adjudicate a labor certification application, is a crucial factor in the overall green card process for foreign workers. While the exact timeframe can vary depending on several factors, understanding the typical processing timeline can help employers and prospective immigrants plan accordingly.

According to the DOL’s latest processing times data, the average Perm Processing Time is approximately 11 to 12 months. However, this timeframe can range from as short as six months to as long as 18 months or more.

Here’s a breakdown of the key stages and their estimated processing times:

  • Prevailing Wage Determination: 30 to 60 days
  • Recruitment: 60 days
  • Application Filing: 1 to 2 months
  • Adjudication: 6 to 12 months

Factors that can influence Perm Processing Time include the complexity of the case, the accuracy of the application, and the current workload at the DOL. Additionally, cases subjected to audits may experience extended processing times due to the additional scrutiny involved.

Can you explain the process of getting a Perm?

Seeking a green card through the PERM process can be a complex undertaking, but understanding the steps involved can help streamline the process and potentially reduce Perm Processing Time.

Navigating the PERM Process:

1. Labor Certification Application: The employer initiates the process by filing a labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This application outlines the job requirements, prevailing wage, and recruitment efforts undertaken to seek qualified U.S. workers.

2. Prevailing Wage Determination: The DOL determines the prevailing wage for the specific occupation and geographic location. This wage serves as the minimum salary the employer must offer to the foreign worker.

3. Recruitment Campaign: The employer conducts a comprehensive recruitment campaign to ensure that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position. This may involve advertising the job opening, interviewing candidates, and documenting the recruitment efforts.

4. PERM Application Filing: Once the labor certification is approved, the employer files an immigrant petition (Form I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition seeks approval to classify the foreign worker as an EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant.

5. PERM Processing Time: The processing time for the PERM application can vary depending on case complexity and workload. Currently, the average Perm Processing Time ranges from 11 to 12 months.

6. Green Card Application: Upon approval of the immigrant petition, the foreign worker can apply for an immigrant visa (green card) to become a permanent resident of the United States.

Why Does Perm Processing Time Vary Across Regions?

Perm Processing Time, the duration it takes for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to adjudicate a labor certification application, can exhibit regional variations due to several factors.

One key factor is the workload volume at specific DOL processing centers. Regions with a higher concentration of employment-based green card applications may experience longer processing times due to the sheer volume of cases being handled.

Another factor is the complexity of cases in different regions. Areas with a prevalence of specialized occupations or intricate prevailing wage determinations may encounter longer processing times as these cases require more in-depth review.

The availability of DOL resources can also influence Perm Processing Time across regions. Regions with limited DOL staff or infrastructure may experience delays due to resource constraints.

Regional variations in prevailing wage determination procedures can contribute to processing time discrepancies. Regions with a more streamlined prevailing wage determination process may experience shorter processing times.

Perm Processing Time variations across regions stem from a combination of factors, including workload volume, case complexity, resource availability, and prevailing wage determination procedures.

Can Technological Innovations Expedite Perm Processing Time Efforts?

Technological advancements have the potential to revolutionize the Perm processing landscape, streamlining procedures, and potentially reducing Perm Processing Time. By leveraging intelligent automation and data-driven insights, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) can enhance efficiency and reduce processing bottlenecks.

One promising approach is the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks such as reviewing labor certification applications, identifying potential errors or inconsistencies, and extracting relevant information from complex documents. This would free up DOL adjudicators to focus on more intricate case reviews, potentially reducing processing times.

Utilizing data analytics tools can provide DOL with valuable insights into prevailing wage trends, recruitment patterns, and common processing delays. These insights can inform policy changes, targeted outreach efforts, and streamlined processing procedures, further expediting the Perm process.

As technology continues to evolve, the potential for innovations to enhance Perm Processing Time is promising. By embracing technological advancements, the DOL can optimize the process, making it more efficient, timely, and accessible for employers seeking to sponsor foreign workers.

What Role Does Documentation Precision Play in Processing Times?

The accuracy and completeness of the documentation submitted by an employer can significantly impact Perm Processing Time. Comprehensive and well-organized documentation ensures that the DOL has all the necessary information to evaluate the application promptly and accurately, minimizing the need for additional requests for evidence or clarifications.

Key Factors Affecting Perm Processing Time Due to Documentation Precision:

  • Thoroughness: Documentation should include all required information, leaving no room for ambiguity or missing details. This includes accurate job descriptions, prevailing wage calculations, and detailed recruitment records.
  • Consistency: Information provided across various documents should be consistent and aligned, avoiding any contradictions or discrepancies that could raise concerns or require further incele.
  • Organization: Documents should be well-organized and easy to navigate, allowing DOL adjudicators to quickly locate relevant information without unnecessary effort. This includes proper labeling, indexing, and cross-referencing.
  • Completeness: The documentation should be complete, encompassing all aspects of the labor certification process, from the prevailing wage determination to the recruitment efforts. Leaving out any crucial information can delay the processing timeline.

How Can Collaboration Improve Overall Perm Processing Time Efficiency?

Perm Processing Time requires a concerted effort from various stakeholders, including employers, attorneys, government agencies, and technology providers. By fostering collaboration and streamlining processes, Perm Processing Time can be significantly reduced.

Fostering Collaboration for Efficient Perm Processing Time:

  1. Employer-Attorney Collaboration: Close collaboration between employers and their immigration attorneys is crucial for ensuring that labor certification applications are prepared accurately, comprehensively, and on time. Regular communication, clear expectations, and a proactive approach can expedite the process.
  2. Employer-DOL Engagement: Employers should proactively engage with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to address any questions or concerns that may arise during the application process. Prompt responses to DOL inquiries and timely submission of requested evidence can prevent delays and keep the process on track.
  3. Government Agency Coordination: Enhanced coordination between the DOL and other government agencies involved in the immigration process, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), can streamline data sharing and reduce redundancies, leading to faster processing times.
  4. Technology Integration: Embracing technological innovations, such as AI-powered application review tools and data analytics platforms, can significantly enhance efficiency and reduce processing time.
  5. Shared Best Practices: Sharing best practices among employers, attorneys, and government agencies can promote standardization, consistency, and overall efficiency in the Perm processing system.

By fostering collaboration and embracing technological advancements, all stakeholders involved in the Perm process can work together to reduce processing times and make the green card journey for foreign workers more efficient and timely.

What Impact Do External Factors Have on Processing Timelines?

Perm Processing Timeā€”the duration it takes for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to adjudicate a labor certification application, can be influenced by various external factors beyond the control of employers or their attorneys. These factors can introduce complexities, delays, and fluctuations in processing timelines.

External Factors Impacting Perm Processing Time:

Government Funding and Staffing: 

Fluctuations in government funding and staffing levels can impact the DOL’s capacity to process labor certification applications efficiently. Reduced resources may lead to longer processing times and increased backlogs.

Changes in Immigration Regulations: 

Ongoing changes and updates to immigration regulations can introduce uncertainty and delays in the Perm process. Employers and attorneys may need additional time to adapt to new requirements and procedures, potentially extending processing timelines.

Economic Conditions and Labor Market Dynamics: 

Economic downturns and shifts in labor market demand can affect the availability of U.S. workers, potentially leading to increased scrutiny of labor certification applications and longer processing times.

Global Events and Geopolitical Factors: 

Global events and geopolitical factors can influence the volume and complexity of labor certification applications. For instance, an influx of foreign workers seeking green cards due to regional conflicts or economic instability can strain the DOL’s processing capacity.

Case Complexity and Prevailing Wage Determinations:

The complexity of individual cases, particularly those involving specialized occupations or intricate prevailing wage determinations, can significantly impact processing times. These cases often require in-depth analysis and additional documentation, leading to longer timelines.

Navigating the Perm process amidst these external factors requires employers and attorneys to stay informed about regulatory updates, adapt to changing requirements, and proactively address any complexities that may arise. By working diligently and maintaining open communication with the DOL, employers can strive to minimize the impact of external factors and streamline their Perm processing journey.

How Do Global Events Influence Perm Processing Time Dynamics?

Global events can have a significant impact on Perm Processing Time, affecting the availability of foreign labor, the demand for green cards, and the overall workload of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Economic fluctuations, political instability, and natural disasters in foreign countries can influence the number of foreign workers seeking employment opportunities in the United States. This can, in turn, affect the prevailing wage determinations and recruitment efforts required for the Perm process.

Additionally, global events that impact immigration policies, such as changes in visa quotas or processing priorities, can influence the overall demand for green cards. This can lead to fluctuations in perm processing time as the DOL adjusts its resources to accommodate changes in application volume.

Global events that impact the DOL’s ability to function effectively, such as government shutdowns or budget constraints, can also influence perm Processing Time. These disruptions can lead to delays in processing applications and extended response times to inquiries from employers.

Understanding the interplay between global events and Perm Processing Time dynamics are crucial for employers seeking to sponsor foreign workers. By staying informed about global trends and potential disruptions, employers can proactively manage their expectations and take steps to mitigate potential delays in the processing of their PERM applications.

Are Expedited Services Worth the Investment in Processing Time?

For employers seeking to expedite the Perm processing timeline, premium processing services offered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) can provide a faster adjudication of labor certification applications. While these services come with an additional fee, the potential benefits may outweigh the cost for employers who need to quickly secure permanent residency for their foreign workers.

Premium processing guarantees that the DOL will prioritize the review of the application within 15 calendar days. This can significantly reduce Perm Processing Time, which typically ranges from 11 to 12 months. For employers facing urgent timelines, such as those with critical skills gaps or pending deadlines, the expedited service can be invaluable.

However, it is crucial to carefully assess whether premium processing is necessary for each specific case. Employers should consider factors such as the complexity of the application, the urgency of the need for a green card, and the availability of funds before deciding whether to invest in expedited services.


While reducing Perm Processing Time can be challenging due to the complex nature of the immigration system, a combination of proactive strategies, technological advancements, and collaborative efforts can significantly streamline the process.

Employers, attorneys, and government agencies must work together to optimize the system, prioritizing efficiency and reducing unnecessary delays. By embracing innovation and fostering collaboration, we can create a more seamless and timely green card journey for foreign workers seeking permanent residency in the United States.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is there a way to expedite the Perm processing time?

While there is no guaranteed way to expedite the process, submitting complete documentation and exploring premium processing options can help.

How often do processing times change?

Numerous factors can affect processing times, and they may occasionally change. It’s essential to stay updated on the latest trends and updates.

What happens if there are delays in the processing of my application?

Delays can occur due to various reasons. It’s important to address any issues promptly and stay informed about the status of your application.

Can burstiness significantly impact the processing time of a Perm application?

Yes, burstiness, or sudden spikes in workload, can lead to delays in processing times. Understanding and preparing for burstiness is crucial for applicants.

Is there a specific timeframe within which I can expect a decision on my Perm application?

The timeframe for Perm processing can vary widely. While general estimates exist, applicants should be prepared for potential fluctuations in processing times.

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