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One of the first steps along the road to a green card is getting a PERM Labor Certification. The actual processing time for each employer PERM application may vary from the average depending on the material facts and circumstances. It may take 3 months or even 5-6 months for processing.

What is PERM ?

PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. The PERM exists as a way for the Department of Labor (DOL) to help make sure that employers are not using the immigration system to take jobs from U.S. workers.  U.S. bosses wishing to support a remote national for lasting residency face the overwhelming undertaking of exploring through the tricky waters of U.S. migration laws. Most by far of candidates will fall into the EB-2 or EB-3 class. Supporting outside laborers for perpetual residency based on an EB-2 or EB-3 appeal by and large requires a three stage process:

1.) a Labor Certification

2.) an outsider visa request

3.) recording an application to modify status to that of a changeless occupant.

PERM processing time

With joblessness dropping and the interest for qualified specialists exceeding stockpile, it’s the best time to do this. Unfortunately, it sometimes can take several months for the Department of Labor to issue a permanent labor certification.

The Department of Labor provides processing times here: https://icert.doleta.gov/. Click on the “Processing Times” tab.

Basic steps of PERM processing

The PERM labor certification includes the following major steps:

Step 1: Preparation by the employer

The U.S employer must develop a job description containing a clear and accurate summary of the job duties, the minimum requirements that an employee must possess to fulfill the duties of the job as well as an overview of the recruitment process. 

Generally, it takes most employers one to two months to complete this step.

Step 2: Employer acquires prevailing wage determination from DOL

The U.S. employer will request for a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor. This step allows the employer to determine what wage they should be prepared to offer a foreign worker.

Currently, it takes approximately four months for an employer to receive a PWD from the DOL.

Step 3: Employer recruitment

Step 4: Filing of ETA Form 9089

An employer must file ETA 9089 electronically via the DOL website.


Under normal circumstances, PERM processing can be a lengthy process. If you get unusual delays to your PERM processing, consider consulting an immigration attorney with the knowledge and experience required to work with the DOL to help speed up the employment-based Green Card process.