Third Quarter PERM Filings: Denials Increase

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for the PERM labor certification (PERM LC) process. The PERM LC process is the first of three stages in most employment-based permanent residence (commonly, “green card”) cases. Each quarter, the DOL summarizes key PERM-related data that provides insights into the volume of cases filed and adjudicated, as well as trends in processing PERM cases. The latest report is based on data from the third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2015, which ran from April 1 through June 30, 2015.

Applications Increase 15 Percent from Prior Year

The overall number of PERM cases filed with the DOL during the third quarter of FY15 was 20,289. This brings the total number of cases so far for the fiscal year to 62,512. This is a notable increase in volume from FY14, which only had 53,377 new cases filed during the first three quarters. Further, this rate of increase may be a trend, as the same 15 percent increase in filing volume was tabulated when comparing FY13 to FY14 at the third quarter point.

More PERM Denials in Third Quarter

The worrisome statistic released was the number of PERM denials issued during the third quarter of FY15. While certifications (approvals) still far outpaced denials, the denial rate for the third quarter exceeded 10 percent. This is twice as high as the 5 percent denial rate experienced during the first two quarters of FY15. For the first three quarters combined, the denial rate is at approximately 6.7 percent. This is marginally higher than the 6.5 percent of denials during the first three quarters of FY14.

Top Occupations: Computer and Mathematics

The top five occupational categories for which the DOL issued PERM certifications are unchanged from past reports. The percentage of cases within particular job families is also consistent overall.

As would be expected, more than half of the PERM LCs certified during the FY15 year-to-date are within the computer and mathematical classification. The next highest job family is architecture and engineering (11%) followed by management (8%), business and financial operations (6%), and education, training, and library (4%).

Top Industries: Professional, Scientific, and Technical

Naturally, the employers sponsoring PERM LCs are in industries that rely on the top occupations listed above. Almost half of the employers are categorized within professional, scientific, and technical services. This category is followed by: manufacturing (18%), information (7%), finance and insurance (6%), and educational services (5%).


The increase in PERM denials is the most notable change in the PERM related data. While the approval rate is fortunately still high, there is a lot at stake in PERM cases. The problems are compounded by the time investment and lengthy delays in the decision making process. The attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm are available to provide guidance and representation in PERM 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.