2010 AILA Annual Conference: DOL Open Forum

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) held an open forum at the 2010 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference. This open forum included a summary by the DOL regarding immigration-related filings. The key points of the DOL summary are explained here for the benefit of MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers.

PERM Processing Updates

The DOL started the 2010 fiscal year with 67,000 pending PERM labor certification cases. They have a goal of reducing this number by half by the end of the fiscal year. The DOL reports being on track to meet this goal and that, since October 1, 2009, they have processed 60,000 PERM cases, and have 36,000 cases pending. The increased movement in PERM cases is consistent with our experience at the Murthy Law Firm.

As of the AILA conference, the DOL reported the processing of PERM cases filed in August 2009 and that this type of case represents 34 percent of the pending caseload. They are working on cases under audit that were filed in May 2008; audited cases represent 53 percent of their pending cases. The DOL reports that 12 percent of their PERM caseload is made up of cases on appeal. They are processing appeals dated December 2007.


Following some earlier difficulties, the DOL now reports processing 99 percent of the labor condition applications (LCAs) for H1B petitions within seven business days. There is approximately a 10 percent denial rate on the LCA requests. These are usually due to the source of the wage, FEIN number issues, or problems with the SWA or prevailing wage request.

Prevailing Wage

New Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage data was released on July 1, 2010. The DOL reports that Prevailing Wage Requests (PWRs) are being processed within 60 days or less. Many are being processed within 50 days, and the backlog is decreasing as more are moving toward electronic requests. Over 89 percent of the PWRs are being processed via the iCert system.


We have seen a change in the volume and pace of PERM processing, although, there continues to be a backlog. As reported by the DOL, this backlog is still quite extended for the volume of PERM cases subject to DOL audit. We at the Murthy Law Firm hope that the DOL will continue to clear the backlog and improve processing times for all PERM cases.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.