PERM Processing in Review: How Long Does It Really Take?

PERM Processing Time

Understanding the timeline for PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) processing is crucial for both employers and foreign workers aiming for employment-based permanent residency in the United States. This article provides an in-depth review of the various stages and timeframes involved in PERM processing, highlighting critical aspects such as “eta 9098 processing time,” “perm current processing time,” “perm waiting time,” “perm application processing time” “PERM processing time,” and “perm approval time.”

PERM Processing Time

Introduction to PERM

The PERM process is a critical step in obtaining an employment-based green card in the U.S. It involves a labor certification by the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.

Key Stages in PERM Processing

1. Pre-Filing Preparations

Before filing the ETA Form 9098, employers must conduct recruitment to test the labor market. This phase includes placing job advertisements and waiting for responses. This preparatory phase, although not officially part of the “PERM processing time,” can take several months.

2. Filing ETA Form 9098

The “eta 9098 processing time” begins when the employer files this form with the DOL. This form contains details about the job, including duties, requirements, and the offered wage.

3. PERM Application Review

Once submitted, the “perm application processing time” starts. The DOL reviews the application for compliance with regulations and the genuineness of the recruitment efforts.

Factors Influencing PERM Processing Times

1. Volume of Applications

A primary factor affecting “perm current processing time” is the number of applications received by the DOL. High volumes can lead to backlogs, extending processing times.

2. Complexity of the Application

The specifics of the job and the employer’s requirements can influence the “perm waiting time.” More complex or unusual cases may require additional review, lengthening the process.

3. Audits

If an application is selected for an audit, the “PERM processing time” increases significantly. Audits require additional documentation and can extend the processing time by several months.

4. DOL Resources and Policy Changes

Changes in DOL’s resources, policies, or procedures can impact the “perm approval time.” For instance, policy shifts focusing on stricter scrutiny can prolong processing times.

As of the latest data, the “perm current processing time” varies. Typically, it ranges from a few months to over a year. However, these times are subject to change based on the aforementioned factors.

Strategies to Navigate PERM Processing

1. Early and Accurate Application Submission

Filing the ETA Form 9098 accurately and as early as possible can help in reducing the “perm application processing time.”

2. Anticipating Audits

Being prepared for a potential audit by maintaining comprehensive records can mitigate delays in the “PERM processing time.”

3. Monitoring Application Status

Regularly checking the status of the PERM application can help in addressing any issues promptly, potentially reducing the “perm waiting time.”

4. Professional Assistance

Engaging with experienced immigration attorneys can provide insights into current trends and best practices, potentially affecting the “perm approval time.”

Case Studies and Examples

Illustrative case studies highlighting different “PERM processing times” can provide practical insights. For instance, a straightforward application in a non-audited case might be processed within 6 months, while an audited case could extend beyond a year.


The PERM processing timeline can be variable and is influenced by multiple factors, including application volume, complexity, audits, and policy changes. Staying informed about current trends, ensuring accurate and complete applications, and preparing for potential audits are key strategies for navigating the PERM process efficiently. While some elements of the “perm current processing time” are beyond the control of applicants, a proactive and informed approach can significantly aid in managing expectations and planning accordingly in the journey towards employment-based permanent residency in the U.S.