The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it reached its goal processing approximately 365,000 Labor Certification Applications by the end of Fiscal Year 2007 (September 30, 2007). The DOL stated that as of September 30, 2007, it has processed approximately 99% of the applications which were initially transferred to its Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) in 2005. The DOL stated that it will process the remaining cases and close its BECs by the end of the year.
The DOL's PERM centers appear to be issuing an increased number of audits on PERM applications. The centers appear to be focusing on PERM applications with requirements which exceed the DOL's minimum requiremenet standards as contained on the O*Net. For example, most IT positions which require more than a Bachelor's Degree and two years of experience would exceed the DOL's standards. The DOL is issuing, in many instances, audit letters requesting that employers justify the requirements in excess of the DOL's standards on business necessity grounds.