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Labor Certification Processing Times
The speed at which the regional DOL offices and the state workforce agencies around the country process labor certification applications can vary greatly. Processing times can vary significantly over time, too, depending on the workload of each office.
The Department of Labor maintains a website containing the processing times for labor certification applications across the country. This page provides some information about how to read the information on this site to determine the current processing times in your area.
State Workforce Agency Processing Times
Labor certification applications are first reviewed by the state workforce agency. To find out how long the current processing times are at the state agency, go to the Department of Labor Processing Times page, and scroll down to find your state listed in the left column. This would be the state where you are working in the United States. If you routinely work in more than one state, you would likely file in the state where your company has its headquarters or main office.
Once you find your state listed, you can look across the row to see various processing dates. The first column lists the date that regular labor certification applications were filed that the state agency is currently reviewing. The second column lists the date that Reduction in Recruitment (or "RIR") applications were filed that the agency is currently reviewing.
Once the state workforce agency has reviewed the file, the application is then sent to the regional office of the Department of Labor. To determine which regional office your state sends its applications to, you can look at the yellow row listed above your state in the Department of Labor table. The regional offices are located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco or Seattle. (NOTE: The Seattle regional office was closed, but these applications are processed separately in the San Francisco office.)
U.S. Department of Labor Regional Office Processing Times
You can determine how long the processing is taking at the regional office on the Department of Labor Processing Times page. The first table shown shows the dates the application was received at the regional office. (NOTE: These dates are not the date that the application was actually filed, but reflect the date that the state agency forwarded the application to the regional office). Find the listing for your regional office in the left hand column. The first column lists the date that the DOL received the regular labor certification applications that the regional office is currently reviewing. The second column lists the date that that the DOL received the Reduction in Recruitment (or "RIR") applications that the regional office is currently reviewing.
For an overview of the entire labor certification process, please see our Labor Certification Basics and Procedures page.)