FY2015 First Quarter Statistics on PERM Filings

The first step in most employment-based, permanent residence (commonly, “green card”) cases is the PERM labor certification (PERM LC), which is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL periodically releases information about the volume and nature of the PERM filings received and processed. The most recent statistics released, which include information on the number of cases received and processed, as well as the occupations, locations of employment, and other key details regarding PERM LC filings, are for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 (FY15).

PERM LC Process

The PERM process is required in all employment-based, third preference (EB3) cases, and most employment-based, second preference (EB2) cases. The PERM LC process is tied to the role of the DOL in protecting the U.S. labor market. Employers are required to follow specified procedures to attempt to recruit qualified, available, and willing U.S. workers. In order to obtain a PERM LC approval, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification of the DOL must be satisfied that the employer has complied with the recruitment requirements and was unable to find an appropriate U.S. worker for the position.

PERM Volume from First Quarter FY15

The DOL data reflects that, in the first quarter of FY15 (October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014), employers submitted 23,133 PERM LC applications. This is an increase of 31 percent, as compared to case filings during the same timeframe in fiscal year 2014 (FY14).

During the first quarter, the DOL has adjudicated 18,618 PERM LC filings. Of these, 16,192 were approved. The difference in the volume of case decisions when compared to filings is primarily due to the relatively lengthy processing times. The decisions on PERM LC filings in the first quarter of FY15 would have been primarily on cases filed in FY14.

Top Occupations: Computer and Mathematics

The DOL report reflects that the top five occupations for PERM LC applications certified during the first quarter of FY15 are unchanged from FY14. While the exact percentages vary slightly, the occupation representation remains largely consistent. The top occupations continue to fall within the computer and mathematical classification. Positions in this job family make up 58 percent of the PERM approvals. The others are in the following fields: architecture and engineering (10%), management (8%), business and financial operations (7%), and education, training, and library (5%).

Top Industries: Professional, Scientific, and Technical

As would be expected, the top sponsoring employers are within industries that utilize individuals in the top occupations. The breakdown by industry is as follows: professional, scientific, and technical services (44%), manufacturing (16%), information (10%), educational services (7%), and finance and insurance (6%).

Typical Profile of Sponsored Employee is H1B

Most foreign national beneficiaries of PERM LCs are in H1B status (83%). The L-1 representation is five percent, with three percent unknown, three percent in F-1 student status, and one percent in TN status. As was the case in FY14, just over half of the positions for which PERM LC applications were filed required an advanced degree.

Leading State with PERM LC Filings: California

California continues to be the top state of employment for PERM LC positions by a large margin, with 27 percent representation. The remaining states, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, have less than ten percent each.

Indian Nationals Constitute Majority of PERM Beneficiaries

As would be expected, India continues to be the top country of citizenship, with 57 percent of the PERM LC beneficiaries. The other top countries are China, South Korea, Canada, and the Philippines, each with less than ten percent representation.


The increase in filings is the most significant change from the general patterns in PERM LC applications. The nature of employers, occupations, locations of employment, and citizenship of the beneficiaries remains consistent with what has been reported in past years. The Murthy Law Firm has extensive experience with the PERM LC process and green card matters, and is available to provide guidance and representation in such cases.


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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.