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  Frequently Asked Questions  
PERM - What is PERM?

The Department of Labor’s Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system is intended to streamline and expedite the filing and processing of labor certification applications for the permanent employment of foreign nationals in the United States. Unlike the current system, which has two processing tracks (regular and RIR), PERM requires that the employer conduct specific recruitment prior to filing. The system also requires a new form, which can be filed online or by mail. These applications will be processed at two new PERM processing centers in Chicago and Atlanta. The first PERM applications will be accepted beginning March 28, 2005.

Q: How fast is this new system expected to process applications?
The Department of Labor will seek to reach a decision on most PERM applications within 45 to 60 days of receipt. The exception will be those applications selected for supervised recruitment or an audit of the supporting documentation, or which require submission of business necessity documentation for a requirement. Applications filed requesting transfer of a prior filing date will also incur delays since the prior application must be pulled and reviewed to ensure that both job offers are identical.

Q: What about conversion of a pending application to PERM?
Although we use the term “conversion”, it is somewhat of a misnomer here since the Regulations require the filing of a new PERM application (which requires specific recruitment activities mandated under PERM). If an application is pending, a new PERM application for the same job can be filed, and the priority date of the prior application can be requested. However, the first application must be withdrawn, and the new PERM application must be for an “identical job opportunity”.

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