The US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA)/Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) issued selected statistics for its Permanent Labor Certification Program for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The PERM labor certification application is the first stage in most employment-based applications for legal permanent residency and requires the employer to obtain a prevailing wage determination, run recruitment and certify that there are no minimally-qualified, willing, able and available US workers for the position.
According to the DOL, for FY 2017, it received 105,034 applications, up 8% from 2016. The top five occupations of certified applications were as follows: (1) computer and mathematical (58%); (2) architecture and engineering (8%); (3) management (7%); (4)business and financial operations (6%); and (5) education, training and library (3%). The top five visa countries of citizenship of the foreign beneficiary were as follows: (1) India (55%); (2) China (9%); South Korea (6%); Canada (4%) and Mexico (2%). The minimum education requirements for 46% of the PERM applications were for advanced degree positions (master’s or a bachelor’s and five years of experience), 39% for a bachelor’s degree, 11% for less than a bachelor’s and 3% for all others.
Regarding the status of active PERM applications, 76% are under analyst review, 16% are under audit review, 6% are on appeal and 1% are under sponsorship/BE.