In the Know: October 2023 Update on Prevailing Wage Determinations and PERM Processing Times
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated processing times as of October 31, 2023 for Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and PERM applications. The updated processing times are as follows:
PREVAILING WAGE DETERMINATIONS PROCESSING TIMES
According to DOL, the National Prevailing Wage Center, or the NPWC, is currently processing PWDs filed in March 2023 for OEWS wages. For non-OEWS wages, the NPWC is processing PWDs that were filed in February 2023.
Further, the NPWC is processing PWD redetermination requests that were submitted in April 2023.
It is important to note that the NPWC’s reported processing times are what the agency considers to be within normal processing times. This means that it is possible for PWDs to be processed and issued sooner. Currently, at Reddy & Neumann, P.C., we are seeing PWDs being issued in about 6 months on average.
PERM PROCESSING TIMES
According to DOL, the agency is currently processing PERM applications filed in December 2022. On average, DOL is adjudicating PERMs in approximately 338 days – which is over 11 months!
DOL states the agency is currently processing PERM application audits that were filed in July 2022. On average, the processing time for PERM applications in audit review is 255 days. For reconsideration requests filed with the Certifying Officer, DOL is currently processing requests filed in January 2023.
Currently at Reddy & Neumann, P.C., we are seeing PERM applications approved in about 11.5 months on average. This timeframe is consistent with the average processing times being reported by the Department of Labor.
INCREASED PROCESSING TIMES
We do not anticipate PERM processing times improving in the near future. These long processing times for both prevailing wage determinations and PERM applications is a serious problem that will continue for not only foreign workers, but employers as well.
In June 2023, DOL implemented a new Form ETA 9089 to be submitted through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system. The Form ETA 9089’s structure and content has changed as part of the transition to the FLAG system, but the regulations of the PERM process have not changed. While the new form aims to streamline the PERM process and increase the efficiency of DOL’s application review process, it is possible the new system could actually lead to additional delays in processing of PERM applications.
Both employees and employers must remain informed about the processing times for both prevailing wage determinations and PERM applications. Long DOL processing times are impacting those who are on temporary work visas, and it is recommended the PERM process is started as soon as possible for these individuals. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure the process is successful from the very outset as any mistakes made could require the entire process be started again causing even longer processing times and major delays.
For over 25 years, Reddy & Neumann, P.C. has focused solely on U.S. employment-based immigration, and works with employers to establish best practices when navigating the PERM labor certification process. If you are in need of a U.S. work visa or permanent residency, speak with one of our immigration lawyers. Please contact us online, call our Houston business immigration office directly at 713-953-7787 or schedule a consultation.
By: Jessica Palarca