The Department of Labor (DOL) has released the current processing times that they are working on as of May 31, 2010 for all PERM cases. For regular PERM processing cases, the DOL is working on cases with priority dates of August 2009. For PERM audit cases, DOL is working on cases with priority dates of May 2008. For PERM Appeals, the DOL is working on cases with priority dates of December 2007.
As you can see, the PERM processing times are rather slow, as an average processing time for a standard PERM case that has not been audited is around 8-9 months. This is a long way from the previous promise that PERM cases can possibly be reviewed and certified in less than 30 days, etc. The whole idea behind why PERM was created is that since the form ETA 9089 is filed electronically, the processing time should be quick. However, the process now in action is different…
Still, at least the DOL has provided their processing times for the general public, so that individuals considering filing for PERM can plan ahead. Please also take into account the dates noted on the visa bulletin in planning ahead, as even if your PERM case is certified, you also need to wait for your priority date to become current before you can file for adjustment of status. The most recent visa bulletin can be located at http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html
You do not have to wait for the priority date to be current to file form I-140, which must be filed within a certain time from when the PERM case is certified. PERM applications now have an expiration date within which the form I-140 must be filed or else the PERM certified case will become invalid. The form I-140 can be filed without the form I-485 or with the form I-485, if the visa priority date is current as noted on the visa bulletin.
For further information on the current DOL processing times, you can go to http://icert.doleta.gov/#fragment-2
Immigration Policy Center has issued an interesting article explaining that President Obama wants an additional $500 Million dollars to enforce our borders and also wants to send 1,200 National Guard troops to enforce the borders along the US-Mexico border. This is more proof that while President Obama has stated that he wants to focus on Immigration Reform, the bottom line focus right now is on Border enforcement, not national immigration reform.
While border enforcement is important, the federal government cannot solve the US immigration problem of an estimated 11 million to 20 million illegal individuals currently residing in the US. Immigration reform, not just border enforcement, is urgently needed.
For some interesting numbers on the major money being spent by the US government on border enforcement, please go to http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/newsroom/release/when-enough-enough for details.
USCIS has resumed premium processing option for form I-140, in limited circumstances, since June 29, 2009. Premium Processing is filed on form I-907 and requires a fee of $1,000.00 that the employer pays which will require USCIS to issue a decision or request for evidence within 15 business days of the form I-140 submission.
Premium processing is available under the following circumstances:
*EB-3 professionals, EB-3 skilled workers and EB-3 other workers;
*EB-2 Members of professions with advanced degrees, EB-2 exceptional ability; and
*EB-1 aliens with extraordinary ability, EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers
Premium processing is still not available for EB-2 exceptional ability or members of professions with advanced degrees seeking national interest waivers or EB-1 multinational executive or manager. For more information please refer to