Avoiding Common PERM Denials: Insights from BALCA Trends


By Imagility

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The PERM process can be a complex hurdle for obtaining green cards through labor certification for foreign workers. Even with meticulous preparation, denials can occur. This blog explores recent Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) decisions to shed light on common pitfalls and equip immigration practitioners with valuable insights to avoid these costly setbacks.

The Importance of Attention to Detail – Following Harry Sheinfeld’s Advice to Avoid PERM Denials

Harry Sheinfeld, a noted BALCA expert, emphasizes the importance of proofreading your PERM application meticulously. This advice cannot be overstated—most PERM denials can be avoided with careful attention to detail. Here are Sheinfeld’s crucial tips:

  1. Proofread Your PERM Application: Ensure that every section is thoroughly reviewed for accuracy.
  2. Match Position Requirements with Worker’s Credentials: Make sure the job requirements match precisely with the foreign worker’s qualifications.

These are essential foundations for a successful PERM application. However, staying ahead of the curve requires delving deeper into recent BALCA trends.

BALCA’s Tightening Grip: Key Areas of Scrutiny

BALCA is getting stricter in certain areas. Understanding these changes is crucial for success. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Geographic Specificity: How precise does the location of the offered employment need to be in the application? While some flexibility might exist, unclear information can be problematic.
  • Proof for U.S. Worker Rejections: What proof is needed when rejecting U.S. worker applicants? Is a simple resume review enough, or is a more detailed evaluation required to show a genuine effort to find qualified American workers?
  • Incomplete Audits: Can missing or incomplete documents submitted during an audit be fixed later? When does missing information become a minor issue, and when does it pose a significant risk of denial?

By unpacking these trends, practitioners can gain valuable insights to:

  • Strengthen PERM Applications: Craft applications that minimize the risk of denials due to unclear locations or insufficient documentation of U.S. worker rejections. Ensure job descriptions clearly outline the geographic area of the offered employment and demonstrate a thorough recruitment process for U.S. workers as BALCA checks the precision of the job location listed in applications.
  • Develop Effective Audit Strategies: Be prepared for potential audits by having a system in place for maintaining detailed recruitment records and ensuring all necessary documentation is readily available.
  • Stay Informed and Adapt: Keeping up with changing BALCA expectations allows practitioners to adjust their approach and ensure their clients’ PERM applications meet the latest standards.


Understanding recent BALCA trends empowers immigration practitioners to navigate the PERM process more effectively. By following Harry Sheinfeld’s core principles, staying informed about BALCA’s evolving focus areas, and implementing proactive strategies, practitioners can significantly reduce the risk of denials and ensure a smoother path for their clients seeking green cards through labor certification.

Stay proactive and informed to avoid costly mistakes and achieve a smoother, more successful PERM application process.

Related Resources 

Common Reasons for PERM Audits
DOL PERM Processing Time: Understanding Current Timelines
Top PERM Adjudication Issues: What Practitioners Need to Know

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