However, the latest statistics released by the DOL’s Office of
Foreign Labor Certification show that the process now takes over 200
days for non-audited cases. As of September 30, 2008, the DOL was
processing for final review those applications that were received in
March 2008. Audited cases, on the other hand, are taking about
fifteen (15) months while standard appeals are running almost two
From October 2007 to September 2008, the DOL received 90,038
PERM applications. During the same period there were 61,997
completed cases. Out of this total, 49,205 or 79% were
certified, 10,729 or 17% were denied and 2,063 or 3% were
The backlog grew to 28,042 cases during the 2008 fiscal
year. As of September 30, 2008, there were 40,200 active
cases of which 32% were in the audit process, 8% pending
reconsideration or appeals and 57% under final review.
The backlog may be attributed to the increased audits
undertaken by the DOL, which has raised concerns among
employers and immigration attorneys.
Most notably, the DOL conducted several high profile
audits particularly of prominent immigration law firms
such as Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen and Loewy, and a
Pennsylvania firm Cohen and Grigsby on the issue of
advising companies during the recruitment process.
One audit resulted in debarring a software company from
filing PERM applications while others were required to
participate in supervised recruitment.
Recently, a court-approved settlement agreement was
entered into between Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and
Loewy and the DOL resulting in the release of the firm’s
PERM applications from wholesale audit and clarifying
the role of attorneys in rendering legal advice to their
clients throughout the PERM process.
Top jobs certified for permanent employment included
Computer Software Engineers, Computer Systems Analysts,
Computer and Information Systems Managers, Restaurant
Cooks, Electronic Engineers, Market Research Analysts,
Computer Programmers, Financial Analysts, Mechanical
Engineers, Chefs and Head Cooks and Electrical
The top five (5) states that received labor
certifications were California, New York, New Jersey,
Texas and Florida.
The Philippines was among the top ten countries ranking
fifth among the recipients with 2,995 cases certified.
The other top ranking countries are India (16,569),
Mexico (3,444), China (3,328), South Korea (3,119),
Canada (2,539), United Kingdom (913), Pakistan (887),
Taiwan (821) and Ecuador (811). Workers from 179
countries received permanent labor certifications.