The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided additional information about the status of the PERM program at a recent stakeholders meeting. The DOL indicated that as of the end of October 2008, it was processing “cleanEcases which were filed in March 2008. It was also considering audit responses for applications which were filed in July 2007. The DOL was reviewing standard appeals for cases filed in December 2006. The DOL stated that approximately 32% of the pending cases were in audit review. The DOL also continues to state that it is expanding its staff at its Atlanta National Processing Center where all PERM applications are currently reviewed and thus anticipates that processing times should improve in the future.

The DOL stated that it plans to launch a new on-line processing portal later this year eventually through which both the PERM and LCA applications will be processed. The LCA form will be introduced first in the portal, probably in early 2009. The PERM application will be introduced later probably in Spring 2009. The DOL reminded the public that the new LCA form will not be processed instantaneously and it may take up to seven days to respond on a “cleanEcase. If the DOL encounters a problem with the LCA application, processing could be delayed beyond the seven days.