The DOL recently reported that Prevailing Wage requests for both H-1B and PERM cases are taking about 5 months to process. For those planning to file an employer sponsored PERM case, this means really advance planning is needed. Prior to advertising it is important to have the prevailing wage determination, otherwise you may have to re-do the advertising if the determination comes back higher than anticipated. For this reason we almost always advise our clients to wait for the prevailing wage determination before advertising.
Practically, this means you need to prepare the prevailing wage request (usually about a 2-4 week process), wait for the determination (5 Months), begin advertising and recruitment (2.5 months) and then you can file the PERM and wait for a decision (3-10 Months depending on whether you are audited or not). In total you are looking at a minimum of about one year for the entire process. Waiting to begin until your last year of H-1B is simply not possible anymore. Waiting to begin until your last two years, is still putting things off until to late, considering the PERM road is very rarely without some unforeseen delay. Really, you should try to begin as soon as possible, just to make sure that should there be any issues, there is sufficient time to redo any steps that need to be redone.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.