News from the DOL is that more applications are being audited in this calendar year than in 2016. While the percentages are not clear from this year to last, the announcement from the Department is that it wants to take a closer look at applications than they have in the past. PERM application time has often taken much longer, on average, than employers and the DOL expected. Prolonged application time is an issue for employers who want to hire specialists as fast as possible. With potential profits on the line they do not understand why it takes so long for paperwork to be done.
The DOL Has Cut Down Processing Time
The DOL has always been attentive to these concerns about lengthy application times. They initiated the iCert portal a few years ago in response to such concerns. The iCert portal gives each employer/employee application a bunch of information relevant to their industry. This includes the announcement on prevailing wage application, which is the preliminary stage in the entire process that employers must wait for before going through with the recruitment stage.
iCert has improved processing time for applications. This leaves more time for the DOL to pay close attention to the specifics of each application. Some employers might be worried about being audited, but they should not be. Getting audited does not invalidate the entire application. It merely requires more particular information regarding one or two components of the application before it can be fully processed. A transparent employer will have no difficulty abiding by the demands of the DOL, which usually pertain to information about the employee’s work history or the type of recruitment plan. PERM advertising is full of complications that many employers skip over by accident. The audit will keep the same application active but demand more information to increase its likelihood of success.
Auditing Improves the Quality of Applications
Aside from having more manpower on hand to analyze applications, the DOL has also decided to put more focus on fixing applications instead of rejecting them. Fixing applications works better for employers, who have already put so much time and effort into the initial application. Fixing applications is also in the best interest of the DOL, who are always looking for ways to improve the quality of PERM applications.
It is very possible that this increase in auditing is a sign of things to come. The DOL might want to put every application under the microscope like this so that none fly under the radar. Improvements in digital communication and data management will certainly help. Another helpful trend is that employers are sharing more information with the alien they would like to hire. The alien’s application needs to be exceptionally clear for it to succeed, and nothing will induce the need for more accurate applications than the fear of being audited.