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Chargeability: how to determine which country’s quota you will be counted under for green card purposes.

“Chargeability” refers to the rules which are used to determine under which country you will be counted for green card purposes.

Are college and university teacher occupations included in Schedule A?

According to the Labor Department:

No, only college and university teachers of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts who have been practicing their science or art during the year prior to application and who intend to practice the same science or art in the United States fall under Schedule A, Group II, Sciences or Arts.

Can one advertisement be used for multiple positions?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an advertisement for multiple positions may be used as long as all provisions in § 656.17(f), advertising requirements, have been met.

NOTE: While employers have the option to place broadly written advertisements with few details regarding job duties and requirements, employers must prepare a recruitment report that addresses all minimally qualified applicants for the job opportunity. If an employer places a generic advertisement, the employer may receive a large volume of applicants, all of whom must be addressed in the recruitment report. Employers placing general advertisements may wish to include a job identification code or other information to assist the employer in tracking applicants to the job opportunity.

How do you know if the job description contains requirements beyond those considered normal for the occupation? Does...

How do you know if the job description contains requirements beyond those considered normal for the occupation? Does informing the State Workforce Agency (SWA) on a prevailing wage determination request that the job contains requirements not normal to the occupation meet an employer's obligation to inform the Department of Labor of these requirements?

According to the Labor Department:

The job summary specific to the SOC/O*NET code and Occupation Title provided by the SWA on the prevailing wage determination is considered to identify the requirements normal to that occupation. Any requirements in addition to those listed in the summary will be considered not normal for the occupation and the employer should be prepared to provide proof of business necessity if requested by the Certifying Officer. These summary reports can be accessed at http://online.onetcenter.org. Even if the employer has informed the SWA of these requirements in a prevailing wage determination request, the employer must still inform the Department of Labor by correctly attesting on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089/Questions H-12 or H-13. Additionally, if the employer has not accurately attested on ETA Form 9089 that there are requirements not normal to the occupation, the application will be denied whether proof of business necessity is available or not.

Do I have to send my request within a specific time period?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, your request must be e-mailed to the appropriate BEC no later than 30 calendar days after the posting of this announcement on the OFLC website.

How can an employer file an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer has the option of filing an application electronically (using web-based forms and instructions) or by mail. However, the Department of Labor recommends that employers file electronically. Not only is electronic filing, by its nature, faster, but it will also ensure the employer has provided all required information, as an electronic application can not be submitted if the required fields are not completed.

NOTE: Employers will not be permitted to submit applications by facsimile.

An application for a Schedule A occupation is filed with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security office and not with a Department of Labor National Processing Center.

Why did the prevailing wage two tier skill level structure change to four levels?

According to the Labor Department:

Congress enacted the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 amending the Immigration and Naturalization Act (Section 212(p), 8 U.S.C. 1182(p)) to provide:

"Where the Secretary of Labor uses, or makes available to employers, a governmental survey to determine the prevailing wage, such survey shall provide at least 4 levels of wages commensurate with experience, education, and the level of supervision. Where an existing government survey has only 2 levels, 2 intermediate levels may be created by dividing by 3, the difference between the two levels offered, adding the quotient thus obtained to the first level and subtracting that quotient from the second level."

The alien has a child who is about to "age-out." What can be done to expedite this application?

According to the Labor Department:

The policy of the U.S. DOL/ETA National Office prohibits the expediting of applications.

Must the employer wait to receive confirmation of withdrawal from a Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) prior to refiling?

Must the employer wait to receive confirmation of withdrawal from a Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) prior to refiling an application?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the employer does not need to wait to receive confirmation of withdrawal prior to refiling an application.

What form is used to file an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations?

According to the Labor Department:

The employer must use an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, which includes a prevailing wage determination.

If filing an application under Schedule A, must an employer provide notice of filing?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer must comply with the posting requirement in § 656.10(d) to file applications under Schedule A with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security office.

Many clients are anxious because we have not received the 45-day letters from the Backlog Processing Centers in connection...

Many clients are anxious because we have not received the 45-day letters from the Backlog Processing Centers in connection with their application. How can we follow up on status of cases and at what point should we worry about not getting a letter?

According to the Labor Department:

Due to the large volume of files transferred to the two Backlog Processing Centers, we cannot determine when your "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter (CRNL) will be mailed to you. As soon as your case is entered into the U.S. DOL Permanent Backlog System (PBLS), a "45-day" CRNL will be generated and sent to you and your attorney/agent of record, if one exists. Once you receive the "45-day" CRNL, all requested corrections, supporting documents, and the enclosed Selection of Continuation Option Letter must be returned to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center within 45 days.

Are any PERM regulation provisions applicable to applications filed under the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005?

According to the Labor Department:

No, while many provisions in the PERM regulation are the same as, or similar to, the provisions found in the regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005, the PERM regulation can not be applied to applications filed under the former regulation. At this point, all provisions of the PERM regulation are applicable only to applications filed on or after March 28, 2005, under the PERM regulation.

When does the four wage level provision go into effect?

According to the Labor Department:

The four wage level provision goes into effect on March 8, 2005, as does the requirement to pay 100% of the prevailing wage.

When must the advertisement for the job opportunity be placed in the national professional journal?

When must the advertisement for the job opportunity be placed in the national professional journal under the optional special recruitment provision?

According to the Labor Department:

The national professional journal advertisement for the job opportunity as required under the optional special recruitment provision must have been placed during the recruitment period prior to the selection of alien.

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.

DOL issues Guidance regarding the Re-Instatement of certain Backlog Center Cases which were erroneously withdrawn

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a statement on or about November 15, 2006, providing guidance, regarding how certain cases in the Backlog Centers which were inadvertently withdrawn (as being "re-files due to technical problems) would now be reinstated. The Statement is reproduced below.

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.

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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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