The PERM advertisement process takes a notoriously long time to complete. While expanding the amount of digital services and information has helped ease the burden, the DOL is still reporting lengthy hold-ups because of an overflow of applications. Domestic firms do not like to hear this because it means they cannot move forward with new hires as fast as they would like. They may also resist the shift to an electronic filing procedure because they are so used to the traditional way. This has lead to a fair bit of complaining and back-and-forth discussion between firms and the DOL to try and bring a resolution.
In all this discussion it might appear that firms are not responsible in any way for the hold-ups. However, this could not be farther from the truth. The reality is that the hold-ups have far more to do with poor PERM application filing than any lack of personnel in the DOL. More hiring will not stop the deluge of poorly filed applications that the DOL receive every week. So firms need to take a look at their own internal functionality and realize that if they read the instructions better things would not take so long. Working with a lawyer and an advertisement agency would of course make it easier to get things right the first time.
Part of the structure of PERM gives firms a second (and sometimes third) chance to re-submit components of their application before being denied. A good example of this is when firms submit an incomplete job description. The DOL will request more information before deciding whether or not it’s a valid claim, and this process takes a fair bit of time.
While it would take a few weeks in the era before electronic filing, with this new option the hold up is only a matter of days. The only reason for delay now is the firm being unable to capture what exactly the job requirements and responsibilities are.
Electronic Filing Streamlines the Process
With the new electronic filing system, firms can no longer forget a component of their file. This was a common feature of the old mail-in system. Firms would send 9/10s of a completed file, miss one component, and only find out they missed one component a few weeks later in the mail.
So what do firms have to complain about now? Very little, as the DOL has listened to their concerns and streamlined the application process.
That does not mean, of course, that more applications are being accepted. The only way to get PERM is to write a very succinct and convincing application that convinces the DOL. Immigration into America has never been easy, but with a few convincing descriptions and a 30-day run of domestic job ads it can be done.