DOL Answers Questions Regarding PERM Applications

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) with a score of information regarding the PERM filing system. The following is an overview of that dialogue:

Denials :: Many cases received a “denial” when individuals checked the automated case status system online. While many individuals wondered if there was some systemic error at the DOL, these cases were indeed denied. The PERM system has many rules and will immediately deny a PERM application if these rules are not strictly adhered to. Some of these rules, according to AILA, are as follows:

The prevailing wage determination was dated prior to March 8, 2005. Only PWDs dated March 8 or after can be used. The SWA job order must have been for at least 30 days. Many individuals received denials because their job order fell on February, a month with only 28 days. You must wait at least 30 days after the end of the recruitment period before submitting this application

Registration ::The DOL verifies each employer that tries to register for PERM. Originally, this process happened efficiently and employers received PIN numbers/passwords in days and sometimes hours. However, an increased number of employers are registering and, therefore, it now takes about two weeks to receive a PIN number/password. In addition, many employers, feeling that their registration did not officially go through, are registering multiple times, further worsening the situation.

If, for some reason, the DOL requests further information to verify the employer’s existence, employers should keep in mind the following:

Make sure your company’s headquarter address is used as the “company address” The address where the beneficiary will work can be included in a separate, appropriate box.

Try not to do business as DBA names. Instead, utilize the company’s legal name.

If your company has several Employer Identification Numbers (EIN), use the one your company had when it filed its articles of incorporation.

Filing :: Certain problems have also arrived in regards to filing the PERM application. DOL suggests that when searching for case status, individuals note the letter prefix of the case. During draft status, the case is assigned the prefix “T” (for temporary). When submitted, the prefix changes to the first letter of the Center where the application will be reviewed (e.g.: “A” for Atlanta). Further, when you are preparing the application, you can save drafts at each step. When you are complete, make sure to officially submit the application. If you’re unsure if you’ve submitted, check the application’s case status for assurance. And finally, if your system times out during the application preparation, that may be due to a problem with your web browser. DOL has seen this happen with the AOL browser; however, the problem does not happen with more common browsers like Internet Explorer.

Good luck, and please get in touch with our firm. We specialize in assisting clients with PERM applications and can ensure that these problems do not happen in the future.

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H-1B Regulation Further Delayed

Cite as “Posted on AILA InfoNet at Doc. No. 05041861 (Apr. 18, 2005) .”

AILA’s liaison has learned that the regulation implementing the 20,000 H-1Bs has encountered further delays at OMB. It remains unclear when the rule will be published, and whether it will allow filing for all H-1B-eligible beneficiaries or only those with a U.S. masters degree or higher.

Bush Asks For Leniency in Proposed Plans to Require Passports to Enter the U.S.

This week, President Bush stated that he has ordered an official review of proposed plans to tighten rules of re-entry at the Mexican and Canadian land borders. According to Bush, the plans to require passports for everyone entering the U.S., regardless of their citizenship status, could “disrupt the honest flow of traffic.” Bush has asked the Secretary of State and representatives at the Department of Homeland Security to check for alternative processes. More flexibility, Bush says, could include electronic fingerprinting imaging that could serve as “so-called passport[s]” for individuals entering the U.S. through these borders.

Under the proposed new guidelines, all Americans would be required to show passports to come back to the United States, as of 2008. These rules would apply to Americans traveling from Mexico and Canada, along with Bermuda, the Caribbean and Panama. In addition, all citizens of these countries would be required to show a passport prior to entering the United States.

ETA Amends H-1B and H-1B1 Regulations to Require Web-Based E-Filing

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has proposed to amend its regulations regarding the H-1B and H-1B1 visas, so that employers will be required to use web-based electronic filing of labor condition applications (LCAs). ETA expects that an increase in e-filing of these applications would enhance the effectiveness of the two visa programs and would enable more efficient processing of these applications.

ETA, in their proposal, also would clarify amendments to their H-1B and H-1B1 regulations to correct terminology and addresses, update internal agency procedures and clarify text in general. One of these amendments would relate to Congressional “reinstatement of certain attestation obligations applicable to employers who are H-1B dependent or who have committed willful violations of H-1B requirement,” according to ETA.