Starting June 1, there are significant changes to the FLAG-based PERM labor certification application process that you need to be aware of. Read on to learn more about them.
Transition to the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System
Beginning June 1, the Department of Labor (DOL) has transitioned all online PERM labor certification applications from its legacy PERM portal to the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system. The FLAG system is already in use for Prevailing Wage Determination requests and nonimmigrant Labor Condition Applications (LCAs). After May 31, PERM applications can no longer be submitted through the DOL’s legacy PERM portal.
Revised Form ETA 9089 for PERM Applications
Under the new FLAG system, PERM applications must be completed using the revised version of Form ETA 9089, “Application for Permanent Employment Certification.” While the substantive rules governing PERM adjudications remain unchanged, the revised form represents a significant restructuring and revision.
Detailed Information Requirements
The revisions to the PERM application form may require employers and sponsored foreign workers to provide more detailed information in key areas. These areas include additional worksites or requirements for roving or telecommuting, the number of company employees in the area of intended employment, more detailed qualifications of the sponsored foreign national, and business necessity justifications for certain job requirements that go beyond the norm for the occupation. These additional requirements may increase the time needed to prepare and review PERM applications.
Incorporation of Prevailing Wage Determination Request
The revised ETA 9089 form will incorporate the job information from the required Prevailing Wage Determination request, which must be processed by the DOL before filing the PERM application. This change may complicate the ability to modify job information that requires updating or clarification at the PERM application filing stage. Further guidance from the DOL may be necessary to address this issue.
Processing Timelines and What to Expect
According to the FLAG portal, the current government processing time for unaudited PERM cases is approximately nine months, while audited cases take about one year. It is important to note that the implementation of the new FLAG-based PERM application process is not expected to improve processing times.
DOL has indicated that it will not begin processing new PERM applications filed through the FLAG system until it has completed processing pipeline cases pending in the legacy PERM portal. Consequently, applications filed using the new form may experience longer processing times than usual and are not expected to be adjudicated until next year.
We are closely monitoring the implementation of the new PERM application system by the DOL and will provide updates as developments occur to ensure that our clients are well-informed throughout the process. If you have any questions or need assistance with your PERM application, please contact the Lightman Law Firm for professional guidance and support.