Both the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the DOL continue to more aggressively review submissions and more consistently issue Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Audits. It is assumed that both the USCIS and DOL are being more aggressive in their programs due to current economic conditions. The USCIS is being particularly more aggressive with petitions filed by smaller companies. However, the USCIS is also being aggressive with any size of consulting company. The DOL is now consistently issuing random audits in the PERM process. Additionally, the DOL is not currently reducing its audit backlog. The DOL still has audits pending from applications which were initially filed in September 2007. After both the USCIS and DOL review responses to RFEs and Audits, they are denying petitions based on issues on which they have not been previously focusing on.
Additionally, the USCIS has begun to pre-adjudicate adjustment of status applications for which priority dates are not currently available and thus the USCIS can not approve them. The USCIS appears to be reviewing the applications for completeness and also identifying any issues which would normally arise in the adjudication process. However, after applicants respond to the RFEs, the USCIS can not close out the cases due to the priority date retrogression.