The DOL Audited our PERM Case. Why? And What Happens Next?

Last week, we gave you tips on drafting great EVLs for PERM Based I-140 applications. Today, we address another nerve-wracking part of the Green Card process, PERM audits.

Nationally, the Department of Labor (DOL) audits about 1 in 3 PERM applications, most by random selection. An audit does not mean that a PERM application is any less likely to be certified.

What is a PERM audit?

A PERM audit is, essentially, a request for documentation. Since PERM applications are submitted online with no supporting documents, the DOL regularly issues audit requests asking the sponsoring employer to provide evidence they followed proper recruitment procedures. Some audits may also ask for additional information but these additional requests vary from case to case.

Why is a PERM application audited?

Most audits are the result of random selection. While some audits are triggered by specific fact patterns in a case, such as situations where there were layoffs in a particular position and location in the last six months, usually, there is no particular reason why any individual PERM application is audited.

What documents are required to respond to an audit?

The employer must provide evidence of the recruitment steps taken. The DOL requires job postings to be placed in specific outlets, such as in a newspaper of major circulation and with the State Workforce Agency. The DOL requests copies of these job postings, as well as a recruitment report that summarizes the recruitment steps taken, any applicants that applied and why they were not qualified.

What is the role of the employee?

Since PERM audits are all about recruitment efforts, there is no role for the employee. The individual sponsored by the PERM does not need to provide any documentation.

What is the role of the sponsoring employer?

The sponsoring employer works with immigration counsel to assemble all the documents required for the response.

What is the role of the attorney?

The attorney works with the sponsoring employer to assemble all the documentation requested by the DOL, prepares a recruitment report summarizing the recruitment efforts, and submits the audit response to DOL.

How long does it take?

Audit responses must be submitted within 30 days of receipt. A decision is usually issued about 4 months after DOL receives the audit response.