DOL/OFLC Stakeholders meeting was held on January 06, 2012 in Washington, DC. DOL has provided statistical updates on PERM and H-1B LCA programs.
For the first quarter of 2012, DOL has received 13,000 cases, of which 9,400 cases have been certified, 2,400 cases have been denied and 600 cases have been withdrawn. Further, as of January 03, 2012, DOL has 21,000 cases pending with them. Of these 21,000 cases, 50% are pending analyst review, 33% are in audit, 10% are on appeal, 4% are in Supervised Recruitment and 3% in “front end” sponsorship verification. DOL is currently processing regular PERM applications filed on October 2011, PERM audits received on April 2011, PERM applications on appeal (RFR) received on April 2010 and is current on Government Error queue. About 44-45% of the audited PERMs are approved, 55-56% of audited PERMs are denied. Currently, DOL has about 7,000 PERM cases in audit review. Of the total Supervised Recruitment, 25% are approved, 60% are denied and 12% are withdrawn.
DOL is targeting to complete all PERM processes within 180 days and is taking measures to improve timeline at the Atlanta Processing Center to meet this goal.
LCA (H-1B) –
In the first quarter of 2012, there are 83,000 H-1B LCAs filed with DOL. DOL processes 99% of the LCAs in seven days of receipt. New employer’s filing LCA with the DOL for the first time need to get their Federal Employers Identification Number (FEIN) verified by DOL. The turnaround time for DOL on FEIN verification is 24-48 hours. FEIN verifications used to be done using the ERISA database. In July, 2011, DOL had switched to a new vendor, Experian’s larger database (about 16 million listings) with better coverage. This switch had temporarily resulted in some employer FEINs not being recognized and requiring employers to submit new company documents. About 7% of LCAs are denied for FEIN and PWD tracking number issues. DOL believes that the switch has resulted in a significant reduction in FEIN verification issues.
Technology Updates –
DOL will implement technical enhancements to icert in about three months which will include the following:
• Prevailing wage requests (ETA 9141) will have more mandatory fields (withwarning pop-ups) to reduce errors (and RFIs); applicants will be able to attach supporting documents (such as wage surveys) to submitted PWRs in iCERT); Center Director reviews will be able to be made directly in the iCERT portal.
• The new Form ETA 9089 (aka, new PERM “module”) design phase for iCERT implementation was completed in December 2011, and now DOL is turning to develop the resource plans. DOL expects to have an update on moving PERM into iCERT by the next stakeholders meeting. In terms of the “resource” plan, DOL is assessing the costs of implementing the iCERT PERM module against their funding and budget