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Significant increase in Prevailing Wage Request processing time impacts international employee case filings

As many department administrators involved in hiring international employees at UIC already know, most H-1B visa petitions, and all PERM filings under the Labor Certification process, require that UIC file a Prevailing Wage Request (PWR) with the U.W. Department of Labor (DOL).

Recently, OIS has observed the processing time for PWRs filed with DOL increase significantly to ten to twelve months. While most H-1B visa petition filings are not impacted by these slower processing times, many PERM filings under the Labor Certification process are negatively impacted. Specifically, if proper recruitment has taken place, many UIC departments are eligible to sponsor full-time, permanent faculty and faculty physicians positions for ‘special handling’ under the Labor Certification process, which carries specific advantages to UIC. However, the ‘special handling’ Labor Certification must be filed within 18 months of an offer letter being accepted (signed) by the international employee.

In light of this increased processing time, OIS highly recommends that Departments immediately contact OIS after an offer letter has been signed by an international employee, regardless of their underlying visa status, so that a PWR can be filed shortly thereafter and increase the likelihood of meeting this 18-month deadline under the Labor Certification process.

The mission of the Office of International Services is to advance internationalization at UIC by providing comprehensive support, including advising on both government and university policies, as well as offering cross-cultural programming. Questions or comments about this announcement can be directed to OIS at or (312) 996-3121, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit our contact page for more ways to connect.