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Long Waits Ahead: Processing Times for PWDs and PERM Applications Updated

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated processing times as of May 01, 2024 for Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and PERM applications. The updated processing times are as follows:


According to DOL, the National Prevailing Wage Center, or the NPWC, is currently processing PWDs filed in November 2023 for OEWS wages. For non-OEWS wages, the NPWC is processing PWDs that were filed in March 2023. These include PWDs that have been submitted based on private wage surveys.

Further, the NPWC is processing PWD redetermination requests that were submitted in December 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 Brown PC, we are seeing PWDs being issued in about 5 months on average.


According to DOL, the agency is currently processing PERM applications filed in April 2023. On average, DOL is adjudicating PERMs in approximately 387 days – which is over 12 months!

DOL states the agency is currently processing PERM application audits that were filed in December 2022. On average, the processing time for PERM applications in audit review is 478 days. This means if a case is selected for audit, an additional 3 to 4 months is added to the processing time.

For reconsideration requests filed with the Certifying Officer, DOL is currently processing requests filed in April 2023.

Currently at Reddy Neumann Brown PC, we are seeing PERM applications approved in about 12 to 13 months on average. If selected for audit, the processing time for the PERM application could be as long as 17 months. This timeframe is consistent with the average processing times being reported by the Department of Labor.


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.

Based on information obtained from Reddy Neumann Brown PC’s ongoing PERM delay litigation, the Department of Labor has stated the agency adjudicates PERM applications by “processing month” and not on a first-in/first-out basis. Further, DOL has stated that though PERM applications are being adjudicated by “processing month,” they are not necessarily processed in the order that they are received in that “processing month.” This means that while a PERM application could have been received on the first day of the “processing month,” the application may not be adjudicated until the very end of the allotted timeframe.

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.

Furthermore, certain individuals may qualify for alternative options and should explore these alternative routes such as the EB-1A immigrant visa or a National Interest Waiver. Speaking with an experienced attorney will allow individuals to determine if they qualify and can bypass the lengthy PERM process entirely.

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

Jessica Palarca

Jessica Palarca is an attorney in Reddy & Neumann’s PERM Labor Certification Department where she assists clients in the beginning stages of the green card process.