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10 Ways to Beat H-1B Quota to Start Work NOW!

This year the H-1B quota ran out on the very first day! In fact, there was such a deluge of H-1B applications that the USCIS was forced to run a lottery to decide who among the applicants would receive a coveted H-1B visa. As a result, many applicants who applied on the very first day were unable to get an H-1B visa. Therefore, if you want to have a chance of obtaining an H-1B visa, your best bet is to qualify under one of the quota exemptions listed below. Best of all, if you qualify for an H-1B exemption, you can proceed with your H-1B petition immediately, to start work now (either immediately upon approval of the H-1B petition or upon receipt of the petition if you qualify for portability), without having to wait for the next fiscal year!

For purposes of determining whether the alien gained experience with the employer, would an affiliate abroad or an acquiring...

For purposes of determining whether the alien gained experience with the employer, would an affiliate abroad or an acquiring company be considered an employer?

According to the Labor Department:

For purposes of determining whether the alien gained experience with the employer, an employer is "an entity with the same Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), provided it meets the definition of an employer at § 656.3."

What are the procedures to be followed in filing applications on behalf of aliens of exceptional ability in the performing ...

What are the procedures to be followed in filing applications on behalf of aliens of exceptional ability in the performing arts formerly processed under the special handling procedures in the former regulations?

According to the Labor Department:

Aliens of exceptional ability in the performing arts are now included in § 656.5, Schedule A, under Group II. Accordingly, such applications must be filed in duplicate with the appropriate office of the Department of Homeland Security. The documentation that must be filed in support of such applications is listed in § 656.15, Applications for labor certification for Schedule A occupations.

Using the posting sample of a Notice of Filing issued by the USCIS

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted, or will soon post, a sample of a Notice of Filing for a Schedule A permanent labor certification on their website. Will the Department of Labor accept/honor such a posting as sufficient proof of the Notice of Filing for a non-Schedule A permanent labor certification?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer may use the posting sample of a Notice of Filing issued by the USCIS and such a posting will be honored by the Department of Labor (DOL) provided that the Notice of Filing complies with all Department of Labor regulatory requirements. DOL worked with USCIS to develop the sample posting as a customer service convenience. DOL will honor the use of the sample, but is not requiring use of the sample. Employers may use other forms as long as they comply with the regulations.

When must the advertisement for the job opportunity be placed in the national professional journal under the optional ...

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.

Are applications for Schedule B occupations eligible for RIR conversion?

According to the Labor Department:

No, under existing regulations, Schedule B applications are not eligible for the RIR process.

The message on my Corrections List states, "The Employer's name/address is not the same on Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B." ...

The message on my Corrections List states, "The Employer's name/address is not the same on Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B." What do I need to do?

According to the Labor Department:

Please refer to item 6 on Form ETA 750 Part A and item 8 on Form ETA 750 Part B. These items must match exactly on your application. Initial and date any corrections you make on your application and return it to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center.

What is meant by "expiration date" in question 8 of Section F, Prevailing Wage Information, on ETA Form 9089?

What is meant by "expiration date" in question 8 of Section F, Prevailing Wage Information, on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089?

According to the Labor Department:

The expiration date is the end date of the prevailing wage validity period as provided by the State Workforce Agency, which will range from no less than 90 days to no more than one year from the determination date.

Is the employer permitted to accept alternative job experience/qualifications?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, an employer may specify alternative experience or qualification requirements, provided the alternative requirements and primary requirements are substantially equivalent to each other with respect to whether the applicant can perform the proposed job duties in a reasonable manner. As discussed in the preamble to the final regulation, this is the standard developed by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals in Matter of Francis Kellogg.

NOTE: Even when the employer's alternative requirements are substantially equivalent, but the alien does not meet the primary job requirements and only potentially qualifies for the job by virtue of the employer's alternative requirements, the alternative requirements will be considered unlawfully tailored to the alien's qualifications unless the employer has indicated on the application that applicants with any suitable combination of education, training or experience are acceptable.

In the event of an audit, can an application be withdrawn?

According to the Labor Department:

An application can not be withdrawn once it has been selected for audit. If circumstances have changed such that the application is no longer valid or applicable, the application must be withdrawn. If an application is selected for audit, the employer can not forego the audit by claiming the application is no longer valid or applicable. The employer will be held to the audit provision standards and possible resulting consequences.

How can an employer withdraw a PERM application if the employer has difficulty withdrawing electronically?

According to the Labor Department:

As explained in an earlier FAQ on this subject, if the application was filed on-line, the application can be withdrawn by accessing the account wherein the application was filed and simply marking the appropriate box. If the application was filed by mail, a withdrawal request, in writing following the procedure below, must be sent to the National Processing Center to which the application was originally submitted.

In the event employers are unable to withdraw electronically as stated above, employers should send a withdrawal request by e-mail to the appropriate National Processing Center at: PLC.Chicago@dol.gov (for Chicago) or PLC.Atlanta@dol.gov (for Atlanta). To ensure your request is processed expeditiously, please include the following information in the e-mail request:

  • Show the words "Withdrawal Request" and the employer’s name in the subject line of the e-mail
  • In the body of the e-mail, include the following information:
    • Case Number
    • Employer's Name
    • Employer's EIN
    • The reason for withdrawal
    • Name and title of individual requesting withdrawal

Is the employer permitted to use an electronic national professional journal?

According to the Labor Department:

No, the employer can not use an electronic national professional journal. The employer must use a print journal whether to satisfy the provision permitting the use of a journal as an alternative to one of the Sunday advertisements or to satisfy the provision requiring an advertisement in a journal under optional special recruitment procedures for college and university teachers.

Is the employer permitted to use a wage range as opposed to a single wage rate in advertisements for the job offer?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, the employer may advertise with a wage range as long as the bottom of the range is no less than the prevailing wage rate.

Is an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations filed with a Department of Labor National Processing ...

Is an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations filed with a Department of Labor National Processing Center?

According to the Labor Department:

No, an application for a labor certification for Schedule A occupations is filed, in duplicate, with the appropriate Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office.

In order to establish a "pattern of recruitment," which date is used as the reference point -- the date the original ...

In order to establish a "pattern of recruitment," which date is used as the reference point – the date the original application was received or the date the RIR conversion request is received?

According to the Labor Department:

The point of reference for the pattern of recruitment is based upon the date the RIR conversion request was received. In other words, the earliest acceptable published advertisement or other recruitment activity must have occurred within six months prior to the date the RIR conversion request was received by the BEC. Earlier advertisements or other recruiting activities will not be considered by the BEC in determining whether a pattern of recruitment has been established.

Are the recruitment provisions different for college and university teachers?

According to the Labor Department:

Yes, while the employer may choose to recruit for college and university teachers under the basic process, the employer may choose to recruit under § 656.18, optional special recruitment and documentation procedures for college and university teachers.

NOTE: The employer must support hiring of the alien by documenting that the alien was found to be more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the job opportunity.

What are the criteria for revoking approved labor certifications?

According to the Labor Department:

Certifying Officers have the authority to revoke an approved labor certification for fraud and willful misrepresentation, obvious errors, or for grounds or issues associated with the labor certification process.

When must applications be signed?

According to the Labor Department:

Applications submitted by mail must contain the original signature of the employer, alien, and preparer, if applicable, when they are received by the processing center. Applications filed electronically must, upon receipt of the labor certification, be signed immediately by the employer, alien, and preparer, if applicable, in order to be valid.

NOTE: Where the employer provides a copy of an application to a Certifying Officer pursuant to an audit or otherwise, the copy must be signed.

What level of detail regarding the job offer must be included in the advertisement?

According to the Labor Department:

Employers need to apprise applicants of the job opportunity. The regulation does not require employers to run advertisements enumerating every job duty, job requirement, and condition of employment. As long as the employer can demonstrate a logical nexus between the advertisement and the position listed on the employer’s application, the employer will meet the requirement of apprising applicants of the job opportunity. An advertisement that includes a description of the vacancy, the name of the employer, the geographic area of employment, and the means to contact the employer to apply may be sufficient to apprise potentially qualified applicants of the job opportunity.

NOTE: While employers will have the option to place broadly written advertisements with few details regarding job duties and requirements, they 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.

The Prevailing Wage Determination provided by the State Workforce Agency (SWA) was incorrect or incomplete. What do I do?

According to the Labor Department:

In submitting a PERM application, the employer declares that it has read and reviewed the application and that the information contained in the application is true and accurate. The employer is responsible for ensuring the PWD information provided by the SWA and entered on ETA Form 9089 is correct and for taking steps to obtain corrected PWDs from the SWA as needed.

We are aware there have been some issues with Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) provided by some SWAs, such as incorrect SOC codes or validity periods. Currently, we are working with all SWAs to ensure the new regulation and state requirements are clearly understood and implemented.

To address denials based on SWA errors during the first months of implementation of the PERM regulation, the Department has developed the following option for employers. If you have an application that was denied due to an error associated with an incorrect or incomplete PWD, and the application was submitted before March 25, 2006, you may submit a request for review to the appropriate Certifying Officer. The request for review must include a copy of the corrected PWD provided by the SWA or a copy of the initial PWD obtained from the SWA together with an explanation of how it should be corrected.

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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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