It appears that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has commenced a backlog reduction program in the PERM program. Within the past month, the DOL has completed the initial review of approximately three months of PERM applications. The date range that the DOL appears to be currently processing for initial review is May 2009 to September 2009.  

Although the DOL has not officially announced that it has commenced backlog reduction in the PERM program, our firm was informed during a routine status inquiry that the DOL is planning to reduce its backlog in the program by more than 50% by the end of fiscal year 2010 (September 30, 2010). The DOL previously announced that it has more than 50,000 PERM applications pending with approximately 50% pending for initial review and 40% pending for audit review. In response to our firm’s status inquiry, DOL stated that it is currently on target to meet the DOL’s backlog reduction goals. It appears that the DOL is initially attempting to reduce the backlog in initial reviews. It may then address the backlog in the audit review queue. The DOL is still reviewing audits on PERM applications initially filed in January 2008. The DOL stated that it is implementing the backlog reduction to provide its customers with better customer service.  

Additional information about the DOL’s backlog reduction efforts will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.