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Certifying Officer Review And Board Of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA)

Certifying Officer Review And Board Of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA)

When must the advertisements in the newspaper or professional journals be placed?

According to the Labor Department:

Generally, the newspaper advertisements must be placed on two different Sundays at least 30 days, but no more than 180 days, prior to filing the application. The Sundays may be consecutive.

However, if the job opportunity is located in a rural area that does not have a newspaper that publishes a Sunday edition, the employer may use the newspaper edition with the widest circulation.

This exception applies to rural newspapers only. If a suburban newspaper has no Sunday edition, the employer must publish the Sunday advertisement in the most appropriate city newspaper that serves the suburban area.

For journals, there is no specific edition requirement, however, the advertisement must be placed at least 30 days, but no more than 180 days, prior to filing the application.

Is an attorney or agent permitted to submit applications on-line?

Where the employer has established a sub-account for an attorney or agent, is the attorney or agent permitted to submit applications on-line?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an attorney or agent may submit applications under the following circumstances. An employer must complete the registration process as explained at http://www.plc.doleta.gov, including the initial log-in. During the initial log-in, the employer will change the employer’s temporary password (as assigned by the system during registration) and once logged-in, the employer can establish a sub-account for an attorney or agent. The employer will select a username for the attorney or agent, and the system will assign a temporary password. The attorney or agent will receive an e-mail with the username, temporary password, and the employer’s PIN. When the attorney or agent logs in and changes the attorney's or agent's password, the attorney or agent is then permitted to complete and submit applications on-line on behalf of the employer using the PIN of the employer in whose name the application is being filed.

Will the job opportunity on the original and refiled application not be considered identical

Will the job opportunity on the original and refiled application not be considered identical if, for instance, the prevailing wage has changed?

According to the Labor Department:

No, having a different prevailing wage on the refiled application from that on the original will not impact whether or not the job opportunity is identical. For a job opportunity to be identical, the regulation requires that the employer (including address), alien, job title, job location, job requirements, and job description be identical in both the original and refiled applications. It is quite possible that the prevailing wage in the new application, which must be filed in accordance with the PERM regulations and which must evidence a current prevailing wage, will not be the same as the prevailing wage in the original application.

Listing and explanation of the status indicators that appear on the website for electronically filed applications

For electronically filed applications, please provide a listing, and explanation, of the status indicators that appear on the website.

According to the Labor Department:

The status indicators for an application filed on-line are as follows:

Incomplete
A case number preceded by a "T" indicates that the application has not been formally "filed" by the employer or its agent, i.e., electronically submitted, and is still a temporary draft. When an application is electronically submitted to a National Processing Center, the "T" changes to either a "C" or "A" depending on whether the application is submitted to the Chicago or Atlanta National Processing Center, respectively.
In process
An "in process" status indicates the application is in the process of moving through the DOL's certification process. If the application is in a stage of review requiring further information/documentation from the employer, the employer will be notified.

Must the ten consecutive business days posting of the notice of filing timeframe end at least 30 days prior to filing?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the last day of the posting must fall at least 30 days prior to filing in order to provide sufficient time for interested persons to submit, if they so choose, documentary evidence bearing on the application.

Household Domestic Service Workers, Bookkeepers, Laborers, etc.

Household Domestic Service Workers, Bookkeepers, Laborers, etc.

Can a parent company create sub-accounts for each subsidiary to assume responsibility for its own filings?

If a parent entity wishes to centralize administration/control over PERM filings of its subsidiaries having different FEINs, can the parent company create sub-accounts for each subsidiary and then permit each subsidiary to assume responsibility for its own filings?

According to the Labor Department:

No, a parent company can not create sub-accounts for subsidiaries having FEINs different from that of the parent company in order to centralize administration and control. When an application is being completed using a sub-account, employer information from the main account, including FEIN and address, is automatically populated into the application and that information can not physically be changed or altered.

How must the employer save and/or store the documentation necessary to support a labor certification application?

According to the Labor Department:

No one method for saving and/or storing necessary documents is prescribed, nor is any particular method proscribed. The burden of establishing the validity of any documentation provided in support of a labor certification application rests with the employer. In establishing a method by which to save/store supporting documentation, the employer must remember that the responsibility for producing valid and defensible documentation in the event it is requested by a Certifying Officer rests solely with the employer. Such documentation must be retained by the employer for five years from the date of filing

Must the employer place a job order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) or will a job order placed on AJB be sufficient?

Must the employer place a job order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) or will a job order placed on America's Job Bank (AJB) be sufficient?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer is required to place a job order with the SWA serving the area of intended employment. It is recognized that states vary in their job order placement procedures and that some may, in fact, place job orders on AJB, in which case, as long as the employer is working through the SWA, a job order placed on AJB would be sufficient.

NOTE: The employer is free to choose AJB as a means of satisfying one of the three additional steps required under professional occupations recruitment if the posting on AJB is not being used to satisfy the job order requirement.

What provisions have changed in the new system?

According to the Labor Department:

This is a brief list of some of the changes; they are covered in greater detail in the particular topic areas below.

  • Filing: Employers have the option of submitting the new form, the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, electronically directly to a National Processing Center.
  • Filing: Supporting documentation is not submitted with the application.
  • Filing: Employers file applications directly with the U.S. Department of Labor and not with a State Workforce Agency (SWA).
  • Refiling: An employer may, at any time, withdraw an application filed under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, refile under PERM, and maintain the original filing date if the new application complies with the new regulation, the application is identical to the original application, and a job order has not been placed by the SWA for the original application.
  • Prevailing Wage: The offered wage must be equal to or greater than the prevailing wage. The wage must be at least 100% of the prevailing wage; the 5% deviation is no longer acceptable.
  • Prevailing Wage:Where an acceptable employer-provided survey provides a median and does not provide an arithmetic mean, the median will be used as the prevailing wage.
  • Prevailing Wage: The prevailing wage validity period will vary from no less than 90 days to no greater than one year depending on the wage source used.
  • Notice of Filing: A notice of filing must be posted in specific locations for ten consecutive business days rather than merely ten days.
  • Recruitment: The employer is required to conduct recruitment (more than 30 days and less than 180 days) prior to filing.

List of primary avenues to U.S. Permanent Residency (“Green Card” status)

The chart below provides a list of the primary avenues for obtaining U.S. Permanent Residency (“Green Card” status) (also known as “Immigrant Classifications and Visas”). The chart is divided into three main groupings: (1) “General Family-Based Immigration” concerns the general types of family relationships which U.S. immigration law recognizes as providing a right to file a petition for permanent residency of the respective family members, and which is available for all nationalities; (2) “Employment-Based Immigration” concerns the general types of employment relationships, investments, or occupations which U.S. immigration law recognizes as providing a right to file a petition for permanent residency; and (3) “Other Immigrant Channels” concerns various miscellaneous avenues of petitioning for U.S. permanent residency.

Is Borat an illegal alien?

Borat! The Movie

In Borat! The Movie (full name Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan), Borat Sagdiyev, who claims to be a Kazakhstani journalist, travels to America in order to make a documentary about the United States, at the behest of the Kazakh Ministry of Information. This raises the question: is Borat an illegal alien?

Our office recently received a request for "corporate documents" from the BPC. The petition was for a housekeeper. Is this...

Our office recently received a request for "corporate documents" from the BPC. The petition was for a housekeeper. Is this request sent in error or how do we respond?

According to the Labor Department:

If the application is for a domestic servant in a private household, the employer should provide a recent tax return and/or leases, utility bills, etc. that establish the domestic employer at the address on the application.

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Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for H1B Visa employers.

"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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