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DOL Releases Stats on FY2012 H-1B and PERM YTD Use

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently released its FY2012 year to date statistics covering October 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 concerning the use of H-1B visas and PERM, the labor certification program for permanent residence. Here are a few key stats from the report:

H-1B Use

The H-1B report shows that 278,737 applications were received YTD. 287,165 were processed. Of those, 243,098 were certified, and 16,346 were denied. The balance were withdrawn. These covered 577,298 positions. (A labor condition application can cover multiple people for the same position if all the requirements, duties and pay will be the same.) Keep in mind that despite the 65,000 annual cap and 20,000 additional spots for graduates with US masters degrees and higher, many positions are not subject to the cap, such as positions at nonprofit and government research institutions, affiliated positions at such sites, and at institutions of higher education.

The top occupations were programmer/analyst (72,000+), project manager, computer programmer, systems analyst, software engineer, senior system engineer, consultants and managers, and lead engineers. The top states seeking H-1B employees were New Jersey, California, Michigan, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia .

The employers applying for the most H-1B visas were Infosys, Ltd., Cognizant Technology Solutions US, Sytel Consulting, Inc., Syntel, Inc., Wipro, Ltd., Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP, Patini Americas, Inc., Mphasis Corp, Accenture, LLP, and Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Application season closed on November 22, 2011 for H-1B visas subject to the annual cap for FY2012. (Filing season starts April 1 of every year for the following fiscal year starting October 1.) The H-1B visa cap for FY2013 (for jobs starting October 1, 2012) was reached on June 11, 2012, which means future applicants will need to wait until April 1, 2013 to apply for jobs beginning October 1, 2013 – unless Congress changes the laws concerning caps. The fact that the H-1B visas were used up in two months this year compared to within seven months in the preceding year, despite a generally slow economy, suggests that in certain sectors such as IT and healthcare, employers have significant openings for qualified computer scientists, engineers and health care workers. However, these are not the only occupations in which H-1B workers are hired. The DOL report just reflects the top users.

Perm Use

PERM is the process by which employers seeking to hire foreign nationals for permanent positions must advertise and recruit for US workers first. The advertising and recruitment process, including the rejection of US workers, if any, is monitored by the DOL. For FY2012 YTD, 43,100 applications were received. Of these, 27,600 were certified, 5,600 were denied and 2100 were withdrawn. 29% were subject to audit (which causes delays in processing times). The stats reflect that a little less than half the cases filed are still pending.

The top occupations for which PERM was sought were in computer science/math positions, architecture and engineering, management, healthcare practitioners, and business and financial occupations. Applicants came mostly from California, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Washington. 51% had master’s degrees and 39% had bachelor’s degrees as the minimum requirements to perform the jobs. The balance of 10% were for nonprofessional positions requiring less than a bachelor’s degree to perform the job.