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Labor Certification

How will RIR and TR priority be handled over PERM cases?

According to the Labor Department:

Backlogged cases will be processed in Philadelphia and Dallas. PERM cases will be processed in Chicago and Atlanta.

Procedure for requesting a Duplicate Labor Certificate. ETA-9089.

According to the Labor Department:

Requests for a duplicate ETA-9089 can be initiated by the petitioner by contacting the Department of Labor or by requesting that CIS assist with obtaining a duplicate labor certificate ETA-9089 from DOL. The following steps are suggested when requesting a duplicate ETA-9089 through USCIS. Please include on the top of the I-140, Petition for Alien Immigrant Worker, a cover sheet (preferably highlighted with colored paper) stating the following:

LOST OR MISPLACED LABOR CERTIFICATION, REQUEST FOR DUPLICATE, DO NOT REJECT

On the same sheet, the following information should also be included:

  1. Attorney name;
  2. Petitioner's name;
  3. Beneficiary's name;
  4. ETA case number;
  5. Priority Date;
  6. Specify whether you want USCIS to initiate the request for duplicate certificate ETA-9089 or you have contacted DOL to initiate the request for duplicate;
  7. Proper fee, signature and all required supporting documents;
  8. A print screen showing that the case has been certified.
  9. Provide the reason(s) for requesting that the Service Center secure a duplicate, approved labor certificate from DOL, e.g. "Case was certified, original approved labor certificate was never received in the mail."

Once the duplicate certificate ETA-9089 is received by USCIS, the petitioner and/or his representative will be contacted via a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice in order to secure the petitioner's signature on the duplicate certificate. The certificate must be signed by the petitioner before USCIS can accept it for filing purposes.

What is considered an acceptable newspaper and/or acceptable journal and is there a published list?

According to the Labor Department:

There is no published list of acceptable publications.

Most employers, based on their normal recruiting efforts, will be able to readily identify those newspapers (or journals for certain professional positions) that are most likely to bring responses from able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers. The employer must be able to document that the newspaper and/or journal chosen is the most appropriate to the occupation and the workers likely to apply for the job opportunity.

NOTE: In the case of a rural area where there is no newspaper with a Sunday edition and the employer chooses to use the edition having the widest circulation, the employer must be able to document the edition chosen does, in fact, have the widest circulation.

Where I can email my questions?

According to the Labor Department:

There are three locations where you may send your questions, depending upon the type of question asked.

  • If you have a technical question (for example, if you forgot your password), then please email those questions to plc.help@dol.gov.
  • If you have a program specific question (for example, if you have a question concerning the content of an advertisement) or a policy question, then please email your questions to one of the appropriate National Processing Centers at

    The appropriate National Processing Center depends upon the state in which you are located.

Please note: Questions should no longer be e-mailed to perm.dflc@dol.gov.

My case has been "In process" the last few times I checked. Is something wrong? Is my case stuck?

According to the Labor Department:

No. The PDS will return a status of "in process" as a case moves through the various stages of the case review and analysis process at a BEC. Depending on the case type and filing date, some cases may show a status of "in process" for some time as the case moves through the various stages.

Again, depending on the case type and any issues that arise with the case, you may hear from the BEC while your case is in process and to facilitate faster processing, you should respond as quickly and completely as possible.

What should I do if I have not been contacted by a BEC at all about my case?

According to the Labor Department:

If you have not done so already, send an e-mail request to the No BEC Contact box at nobeccontact@dal.dflc.us for the Dallas BEC or at nobeccontact@phi.dflc.us for the Philadelphia BEC. The e-mail must contain the following information:

Does a prevailing wage determination expire?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, a prevailing wage determination has a limited validity period as specified by the State Workforce Agency (SWA), which may range from no less than 90 days to no more than one year from the determination date.

NOTE: To use a SWA prevailing wage determination, the employer must file its application or begin the recruitment required within the validity period specified by the SWA.

Is there a time limitation for revocations?

According to the Labor Department:

No, a time limit has not been imposed on the authority of Certifying Officers to revoke labor certifications.

Must a prevailing wage determination be obtained from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) even if...

Must a prevailing wage determination be obtained from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) even if the employer is filing an application under the optional recruitment for college and university teachers and/or Schedule A provisions?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, a prevailing wage determination must be obtained from the SWA even if the employer is filing an application under the optional recruitment for college and university teachers and/or the Schedule A provisions.

Is the employer permitted to accept an equivalent foreign degree?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the employer may accept an equivalent foreign degree. However, the employer's willingness to do so must be clearly stated on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089.

Is the employer permitted to request a review by the Certifying Officer of a State Workforce Agency (SWA) prevailing wage ...

Is the employer permitted to request a review by the Certifying Officer of a State Workforce Agency (SWA) prevailing wage determination?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the employer may request a review by the Certifying Officer of a SWA prevailing wage determination by sending a request for review to the SWA that issued the prevailing wage determination within 30 days of the date of the determination

If an application is for a college or university teacher who does not qualify as a college or university teacher ...

If an application is for a college or university teacher who does not qualify as a college or university teacher of exceptional ability what provisions apply?

According to the Labor Department:

Applications for college and university teachers who do not qualify under the Schedule A, Group II, Sciences or Arts provision may be filed either under the provision for optional special recruitment and documentation procedures for college and university teachers, § 656.18, or under the provision for the basic process, § 656.17.

If my application for certification is denied, how long do I have to wait before I can re-apply?

According to the Labor Department:

Upon receipt of the denial notification via U.S. mail, a new application may be filed at any time unless a request for review by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) has been submitted. While a request for BALCA review is pending, a new application for the same occupation and the same alien cannot be filed. See 20 CFR 656.24(e)(6). (For more information, please see the FAQ "When does the Department of Labor consider a request for review to be pending with the Board of Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) and how will the Department process such appeals?")

Under what circumstances may the alien use experience gained with the employer as qualifying experience?

According to the Labor Department:

If the alien beneficiary already is employed by the employer, the employer can not require U.S. applicants to possess training and/or experience beyond what the alien possessed at the time of initial hire by the employer, including as a contract employee: (1) unless the alien gained the experience while working for the employer in a position not substantially comparable to the position for which certification is sought; or (2) the employer can demonstrate that it is no longer feasible to train a worker to qualify for the position.

NOTE: A substantially comparable job or position means a job or position requiring performance of the same duties more than 50 percent of the time.

When is it permissible to use the median in lieu of the arithmetic mean to establish the prevailing wage?

According to the Labor Department:

If an employer provided survey acceptable under § 656.40(g) provides only a median and not an arithmetic mean, use of the median is permitted.

Will there be certain responses to questions on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, that...

Will there be certain responses to questions on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, that will automatically trigger an audit?

According to the Labor Department:

Questions regarding audit criteria will not be addressed. The criteria was purposely not included in the regulation in order to retain the flexibility to change audit criteria, as needed, for example, to focus on certain occupations or industries when information indicates program abuse may be occurring. The regulation grants authority to increase the number of random audits or change the criteria for targeted audits. Making the audit process predictable would defeat the purpose of the audits and undermine the program's integrity.

Is the employer permitted to request a review of the Certifying Officer's prevailing wage determination?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the employer is permitted to request a review by the Board of Alien Labor Certification of the Certifying Officer's prevailing wage determination by submitting, in writing and within 30 days of the date of the decision of the Certifying Officer, a request to the Certifying Officer who made the determination.

Must the employer contact all individuals identified as a "match" or only those applicants who have responded?

Must the employer contact all individuals identified as a "match" by a computerized state employment system or must the employer only contact those applicants who have submitted a resume and/or response as specified by the employer in the job order?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer is responsible for considering/contacting those applicants who have affirmatively provided a response as specified by the employer in the job order.

For prevailing wage appeals, when does the 30 day clock start running to file an appeal of the State Workforce Agency (SWA) ...

For prevailing wage appeals, when does the 30 day clock start running to file an appeal of the State Workforce Agency (SWA) determination?

According to the Labor Department:

The 30 days to file an appeal to the Certifying Officer begins on the date that the SWA makes a final decision on the case. If the employer submits supplemental information (as permitted one time), the 30 days begins after the SWA considers and makes a decision on the supplemental information.

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