PERM Statistics for FY 2012 (updated on 2/15/2012)

Recently, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification of DOL posted select statistics about PERM cases thus far in 2012. The Program Electronic Review Management process (PERM) is the process for obtaining labor certification and is the first step for foreign nationals in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa (“green card”) through their employment. The Labor Certification requirement is waived for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) petition under EB-2 and is not required in an EB-1 petition, but for those foreigners who do not qualify for NIW or EB-1, the PERM process can be an excellent option. Recent statistics help us to evaluate the current Permanent Labor Certification Program process.

According to a document published by AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, on February 15, 2012, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification has received 17,700 applications in FY 2012, to date. Of those, the vast majority were electronically filed, rather than mailed in. Thus far, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification has processed 16,555 of those cases. 1,980 were certified in January, with a cumulative 12,350 applications certified in FY 2012 as of February 15, 2012. The ratio of certified versus denied cases remains promising. For the year to date, approximately 74.6% of all processed cases were certified.

Additionally, as of February 15, 2012, the PERM processing priority date has reached October 2011 for cases under analyst review. The PERM processing priority date is the date that the PERM labor certification application was filed with the Department of Labor. The PERM Processing Priority date has already reached October 2011 for cases under analyst review, while for audits, the priority date has reached June 2011. For standard appeals the PERM Processing Priority Date is currently August 2010, and for government error appeals the Processing Priority Date is current.

Usually, most PERM cases take around 6-10 months from the start to approval. The recruitment process, including designing the job description, obtaining a prevailing wage determination, interviewing applicants and completing the recruitment report, takes around 3 months. From that point, the DOL review and adjudication process takes around 3-7 months depending on the number of pending cases at its processing centers. At this point in time, there are not too many pending cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., we have successfully represented many PERM cases. A PERM labor certification application is a very complicated procedure that requires both substantive legal knowledge and practical experience. Successful application also demands up-to-date knowledge of the PERM process, and experience in dealing with the recruitment process, which is regulated by law.

Our PERM team has successfully assisted many clients in PERM cases for a wide range of positions, including computer professionals, university teachers, accountants, business managers, engineers, architects, technicians, and scientists. Additionally, we are proud of our diverse clientele around the country, from small companies with a few employees to large companies with thousands. Significantly, our firm has helped several clients with motions to reconsider, resulting in these clients having their already denied cases reopened and approved.

We have several attorneys who are highly experienced in handling PERM cases. From their years of experience dealing with these cases, they have learned the ins and outs of this extremely complicated and time-sensitive procedure. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification statistics regarding PERM cases helps our attorneys understand the current processing environment, so they can best advise their clients. PERM poses a series of tremendous challenges including maintaining a high degree of familiarity with the fundamentals of the labor certification rules, expertise in the technicalities of the PERM form, and experience in PERM strategy planning in a short period of time.  Over the past several years, our attorneys have had at least 365 PERM cases approved.

Experienced attorneys at Z&A will handle their clients’ cases individually by analyzing job openings and the aliens’ qualifications, preparing job descriptions by communicating with the sponsoring employer and alien employee, obtaining Prevailing Wage determinations, designing advertisement strategies, arranging advertisements and internal job postings, offering employers assistance in the recruitment process, collecting documents and additional information, preparing recruitment reports, preparing documentation for future auditing purposes, and filing and following up with the government agency for pending cases. In the event of auditing by the DOL, the attorney will carefully prepare documents and respond in a timely fashion to the DOL. Please note that only experienced attorneys, not clerks or paralegals, handle your case at Z&A. Our clerks’ main objective is to help attorneys in administrative and follow up work. Not only will each client’s PERM labor certification be prepared by an individual attorney, it will also be reviewed by one of our most experienced attorneys for final checking before submission of the application.

If you are interested in filing a PERM, but are not sure how to do so, please contact us at Our experienced attorneys will provide you with a free evaluation.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past fifteen years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

Zhang & Associates, PC.

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