The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently posted the April 2023 edition of their monthly updates regarding DOL processing times for permanent labor certification applications (PERM) and prevailing wage determination (PWD) requests, both important components of the most common employment-based green card route.

As of March 31, 2023, the DOL was adjudicating PERM applications filed in July 2022 and earlier, and was conducting audit reviews on applications filed in April 2022 and earlier. Further, the DOL was reviewing reconsideration requests and appeals filed in July 2022 and earlier. In this latest update, the DOL also provided the average number of days to process PERM applications for initial analyst review (271 days) and for audited cases (402 days).

The table below provides a comparison of DOL’s processing times in the April 2023 update (showcasing processing times for March 2023) with their processing times update in March 2023 (showcasing processing times for February 2023) and in April 2022 (showcasing processing times for March 2022).

DOL Processing Times UpdateCalendar Days for Analyst Review (no audit)Calendar Days for PERM cases receiving an audit
April 2023 update (March 2023 data)271402
March 2023 update (February 2023 data)264383
April 2022 update (March 2022 data)182283

As shown in the chart above, DOL’s average PERM processing times have increased significantly over the span of a year and continue to trend upwards. Employers should consider initiating PERMs well in advance. For time-sensitive cases, employers should consider alternative employment-based green card routes that do not require a preliminary labor market test and PERM filing with the DOL.