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Does the Prevailing Wage used to establish a pattern of recruitment need to be 100% of the current prevailing wage ...

Does the Prevailing Wage used to establish a pattern of recruitment need to be 100% of the current prevailing wage for the occupation?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, as per current regulation governing recruitment for Foreign Labor Certification applications, recruitment should be done at 100% of the prevailing wage.

What is meant by "domestic worker applicants" in the provision on actual minimum requirements?

According to the Labor Department:

For purposes of § 656.17(i)(3), the provision on actual minimum requirements, the term "domestic" is being used as an alternative for "United States."

I have a case number but it begins with a "T", the Public Disclosure System says I need a D- or P- case number. What should...

I have a case number but it begins with a "T", the Public Disclosure System says I need a D- or P- case number. What should I do?

According to the Labor Department:

Until cases were fully data entered, they may have had numbers that began with a "T". These case numbers have since been converted and now begin with a "D" if the case is located in the Dallas BEC or a "P" if the case is in the Philadelphia BEC. The state in which the case was originally filed will determine the location of the appropriate BEC. You can check here to determine which state has your case, or you can try both a D and a P prefix to see which returns your case.

American Embassy in Japan Can No Longer accept I-130 Immigrant Visa Petitions

In the wake of the enforcement of the Adam Walsh Protection Act , the American Embassy in Japan, as well as all other Embassies and Consulates, can No Longer accept I-130 Immigrant Visa Petitions.

To whom should I send my case documentation for a case that could NOT be located at the BEC?

According to the Labor Department:

Send the above information to the appropriate BEC based on where the case was filed. The information should be addressed:

For Philadelphia BEC:
ATTN: No BEC Contact – Case Documentation
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

For Dallas BEC:
ATTN: No BEC Contact – Case Documentation
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
700 North Pearl St., Suite 400N
Dallas, Texas 75201

Why must the advertisement medium be different in order for advertisements to be counted as additional steps?

Why must the advertisement medium be different in order for advertisements to be counted as additional steps? For instance why is it not permissible to count advertisements on two separate web sites as two steps or to place a third advertisement in the same newspaper of general circulation rather than using a local or ethnic publication and have it count as an additional step?

According to the Labor Department:

As with all the recruitment requirements, the purpose of requiring the employer to use three additional recruitment steps is to ensure that the greatest number of able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers are apprised of the job opportunity. It should be noted that each of the steps may target slightly different applicant populations. Using at least three of the additional steps normally used by businesses to recruit workers is a means of apprising a greater number of U.S. applicants of the job opportunity and more adequately substantiates an employer's claim there are no available U.S. workers for the job offer.

Can an employer request RIR conversion for a closed or withdrawn application?

According to the Labor Department:

No, only cases currently open and in process at the BEC are eligible.

However, if the employer is using the "No BEC Contact" procedure to reconstruct a case or the "Reopen" procedure to request reopen for a case you believe was closed in error as described in prior FAQs, you may submit your RIR conversion request and supporting documentation along with your reconstructed case. If requesting RIR conversion with another action, employer submissions should be clear that multiple actions are being requested, and documentation for each should be provided.

What will the BEC do about my case when they receive a request?

According to the Labor Department:

The initial step for the BEC will be to conduct a search to reconfirm that the BEC does not have the case in question.

If a case is NOT found, an e-mail will be sent to the employer or attorney indicating that the case could not be located and will provide instructions regarding what information the employer should provide. You will be required to send the following information (via regular mail) to the BEC:

Can business necessity be used to justify requirements which exceed the occupation's Specific Vocational Preparation ...

Can business necessity be used to justify requirements which exceed the occupation's Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP) and/or are not normal to the occupation involved in the employer's application?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, business necessity is a means to justify requirements which are not normal to the occupation and/or exceed the SVP. While the job opportunity's requirements, as a rule, must be those normally required for the occupation and must not exceed the SVP level assigned to the occupation as shown in the O*Net Job Zones, business necessity may be used to justify requirements not normal to the occupation and/or which exceed the SVP.

NOTE: Business necessity can be established by the employer demonstrating that the job duties and requirements bear a reasonable relationship to the occupation in the context of the employer’s business and are essential to perform the job in a reasonable manner.

What if I have not been contacted?

The BECs have sent all 45-Day Center Receipt Notification Letters (CRNL) to employers or their attorneys for cases shipped to the BECs by State and Regional Offices. OFLC recognizes that there may be some employers or their agents that believe they should have an application pending but have still heard nothing and received no information from the appropriate BEC about the application. In order to provide employers with the opportunity to have their case processed while also guarding against potential fraud, OFLC has established specific steps for employers or their attorneys to follow.

What if an employer has already had their RIR status denied, or has attempted to convert to RIR previously, is such an ...

What if an employer has already had their RIR status denied, or has attempted to convert to RIR previously, is such an application eligible for RIR conversion?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes. If the employer is able to remedy the shortcomings in the pattern of recruitment or documentation, requests for RIR conversion may be made even if RIR was denied previously up until the BEC begins supervised recruitment on the application, at which time the case is no longer eligible for conversion.

DOL publishes FAQs on RIR Conversion

The Department of Labor published a set of FAQs regarding the RIR Conversion Opportunity, i.e., the "hold harmless" or "safe harbor" recruitment period for converting traditional labor certification cases to Reduction in Recruitment. Note that in order to take advantage of this opportunity: "No later than January 20, 2007, the applicant or its designated attorney [must] send an e-mail to the appropriate BEC using the language specified (see question 9 below) indicating its intent to convert a TR case to RIR status." AND: "The applicant or its designated representative sends the RIR conversion package to the appropriate BEC in hard copy, by regular mail, certified mail, or mail courier, with the subject “RIR Conversion Package – [case number]” no later than April 1st, 2007. If no package is postmarked for receipt by this date, the case will be closed. These applications do not revert to the TR queue and the decision to close is not subject to appeal." See below for the FAQs.

How employers determine whether to advertise under the recruitment requirements for professional or nonprofessional occupations

How does an employer determine whether to advertise under the recruitment requirements for professional occupations or nonprofessional occupations?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer must recruit under the standards for professional occupations set forth in § 656.17(e)(1) if the occupation involved is on the list of occupations, published in Appendix A to the preamble of the final PERM regulation, for which a bachelor's or higher degree is a customary requirement. For all other occupations not normally requiring a bachelor's or higher degree, employers can simply recruit under the requirements for nonprofessional occupations at § 656.17(e)(2). Although the occupation involved in a labor certification application may be a nonprofessional occupation, the regulations do not prohibit employers from conducting more recruitment than is specified for such occupations. Therefore, if the employer is uncertain whether an occupation is considered professional or not, the employer is advised to conduct recruitment for a professional occupation.

Is there any centralized way to get an attorney's current address into your system at the BPCs?

According to the Labor Department:

No, any correction or change must be sent to the appropriate Center following the instructions above.

VISA BULLETIN summarizing availability of immigrant (green card) numbers during January 2007

The State Department's Visa Bulletin for January 2007 summarizes the availability of immigrant (green card) numbers during January 2007 for citizens of all countries, for immigration purposes. Because many categories for green cards are backlogged, it is important to check the current availability of immigrant numbers since you can not apply for adjustment of status or consular processing until your category is current (although you may be able to file the underlying petition, and you may be able to file for labor certification, etc., at any time).

Note that you are normally "CHARGEABLE" to the country in which you were born, although there are certain exceptions to that general rule. See our chargeability page. It is advisable to consult an immigration attorney regarding chargeability exceptions. An immigration lawyer can advise you on whether you meet a specific exception, and which country would be best to use for chargeability.

Are cases being assigned a new case number or is the current SWA or Regional Office number being retained for tracking purposes?

According to the Labor Department:

All cases are being assigned new case numbers once entered into the Permanent Backlog System (PBLS). Once a case has been entered into PBLS, the BPC will send the employer and attorney of record (if applicable) a letter with the new case number.

What role does an attorney or agent play?

According to the Labor Department:

Employers may have agents and/or attorneys represent them, however, the employer is required to sign in Section N of the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, that the employer has designated the agent or attorney identified in Section E to represent it, and by virtue of its signature, is taking full responsibility for the accuracy of any representations made by the attorney or agent. In signing, the employer acknowledges that to knowingly furnish false information in the preparation of the application form and any supplement thereto or to aid, abet, or counsel another to do so is a federal offense punishable by a fine or imprisonment up to five years or both under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2 and 1001. Other penalties apply as well to fraud or misuse of ETA immigration documents and to perjury with respect to such documents under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1546 and 1621.

NOTE: An attorney or agent is not permitted to register to use the Permanent On-line System for the employer. Only an employee or owner of the employer entity may register. Nor is an attorney or agent of either the alien or the employer permitted to participate in interviewing or considering U.S. workers for the job offered the alien. The agent or attorney may only participate if the agent or attorney is the employer’s representative, i.e., the person who normally interviews or considers, on behalf of the employer, applicants for job opportunities such as that offered the alien, but which do not involve labor certifications.

2008 Diversity Visa Lottery Registrations

Over 6.4 million entries for the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery were received during the two-month electronic registration period, from October 4, 2006, through December 3, 2006. This is an increase from the more than 5.5 million applications received in the 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery. Taking into account dependents, there are more than 10 million participants in the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery.

Most of the applications were from Africa and Asia with 41 percent of the total from Africa, 38 percent from Asia, 19 percent coming from Europe, and 2 percent coming from South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The largest number of applicants came from Bangladesh (more than 1.7 million applicants) followed by Nigeria (684,735) and Ukraine (619,584). The number of winning entries by country will be available after the random lottery process is conducted next year.

If an application for a Schedule A occupation is denied is the employer permitted to file for a labor certification for...

If an application for a Schedule A occupation is denied is the employer permitted to file for a labor certification for a physical therapist or professional nurse under the basic process, § 656.17?

According to the Labor Department:

No, labor certifications for professional nurses and for physical therapists will not be considered under § 656.17.

I am a new attorney of record for a permanent foreign labor certification case. Our firm wishes to notify your office of this...

I am a new attorney of record for a permanent foreign labor certification case. Our firm wishes to notify your office of this change. How do I do this?

According to the Labor Department:

Please send the appropriate Backlog Processing Center a letter stating the requested change and enclose a new signed and dated G-28 with the updated information. A separate G-28 is required for each case for which you want to make a change. Each G-28 must be signed and dated by the employer and/or the alien, depending on which party you represent.

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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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