All About Filing
The DOL iCERT website is a prerequisite for registration of the employer and is normally used to file the application form 9089. Applications may also be sent by mail to the certifying officer. The date when the application is received establishes the priority date for the subsequent I-140 immigrant petition filed by the employer on behalf of the alien.
Priority and Filing Dates
This part of the PERM Rule deals with priority and filing issues, the effective date when PERM began on March 5th, 2005; expiration of PERM approvals 180 days after date of approval if I-140 Petition not filed, electronic filing, and a now-archaic provision to file old RIR cases under PERM during the transition period in 2005. The continued validity of PERM approvals is also subject to the ongoing existence of specific job offers, the alien identified in the application, and geographic areas of intended employment – issues discussed in another chapter section called Validity.
Filing Hard Copy of PERM Application by Mail
The filing of a paper application ETA Form 9089 by mail is not the preferred way to submit it to the agency, because DOL must enter the data manually into its electronic system. If a paper submission is necessary, then note the correct mailing address. Employers sometimes misfile applications by sending them to the wrong address, a mistake which has serious consequences if the application is not received by the agency within 180 days of the beginning of recruitment.
Instructions for Electronic PERM Filing
Employers must register with DOL on the iCERT website prior to filing a PERM application. Registration is discussed in an earlier chapter called “Employers.” Electronic filing of PERM is widespread and preferred over direct mailing of hard copies. DOL has specified that applications filed by mail be targeted for audits. Moreover, an application that is mailed in has to be transcribed into an electronic filing by DOL, thus increasing the possibility errors on the final copy of the form.
Refiling Old RIR Cases to PERM (Archaic but included for historical reasons)
The act of refiling has two meanings. It may refer to the transition period in 2005 when pre-PERM Reduction in Recruitment cases were able to be refiled as PERM cases without loss of priority date. However, the entire transition was completed many years ago by the Backlog Centers, all of which are closed. Refiling may also refer to filing a PERM application that was withdrawn or denied after processing was begun. This type of refiling is discussed in a separate section below.
Employers may withdraw PERM cases at any time except if the C.O. has begun an audit. There may be undesirable results if the withdrawal is seen as an attempt to avoid scrutiny. The consequences of an audit may be an order for supervised supervision or a referral for investigation of fraud.