Prevailing wage determinations are taking longer than normal to process, and employers should anticipate that the longer processing will affect overall time frames for permanent labor certification (PERM) applications.

According to BAL’s internal case tracking, the Labor Department is currently taking at least 10 weeks to process prevailing wage determinations, instead of the normal six to eight weeks. In the past month, the time frame has lengthened from approximately eight weeks to more than 10 weeks.

Before filing a PERM application, an employer must prove that the foreign worker is being offered the prevailing wage for the job. The prevailing wage is defined as the average wage paid to a similarly employed worker in the specific occupation.

Employers are reminded that additional delays in the process of obtaining a prevailing wage determination can occur if there are any changes to the employee’s position.

BAL Analysis: Employers should factor in the additional time when planning business schedules and work with their BAL team to keep PERM cases on track and avoid any unnecessary delays.

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