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  • December 23, 2014.

    In response to inquiries from our stakeholders, the Department is elaborating on the procedures that will be utilized in implementing the decision in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, No. 14-3557 (3rd Cir.), as stated below. Additional guidance may also be posted here.

    Employers with pending prevailing wage request: Employers who have a prevailing wage determination request pending that is based on an employer-provided survey may modify that request to utilize a Service Contract Act (SCA) or Davis Bacon Act (DBA) wage determination or a wage based on a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). That request will not be treated as a new filing and the request will be processed based on the original filing date. Employers are reminded that the request must specify precisely which SCA or DBA wage determination is being used or provide a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the absence of such a request, the NPWC will issue the prevailing wage determination based on the OES mean for the occupation.

    Employers who have received a prevailing wage determination: Employers who have already received a prevailing wage determination based on an employer-provided survey but who have not yet filed their application with the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) may request a redetermination from the National Prevailing Wage Center irrespective of the time limits set forth in 20 CFR 655.10(g). An employer who has received a prevailing wage determination based on an employer-provided survey may use the survey-based wage rate in its recruiting. Employers who have filed their application with the NPC, and whose applications are adjudicated favorably, will receive a supplemental prevailing wage determination (SPWD) based on the OES mean for the occupation, along with the certification. The SPWD will provide the opportunity to seek a redetermination under 20 CFR 655.10(g). If, upon redetermination, the use of an alternative wage source (SCA, DBA, or CBA) is approved, the employer should return the original certification to the NPC and a new certification will be issued.

  • December 19, 2014. New 2015 H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs).

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for each state, based on the Farm Labor Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The AEWRs are the minimum hourly wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment for a particular agricultural job and area, so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. To read the Federal Register notice please click here.

  • December 17, 2014. Federal Register Notice of Intent to Issue Declaratory Order; Request for Comment within 30 Days.

    The Department of Labor has published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to Issue a Declaratory Order applicable to the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program. To read the Notice, please click here.

  • December 9, 2014.

    Effective December 8, 2014, the Department is no longer issuing prevailing wage determinations in the H-2B program based on employer provided wage surveys. This action is in response to the Court order entered December 5, 2014 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, No. 14-3557 (3rd Cir.). The Court's order vacated the portion of the H-2B wage rule (20 CFR § 655.10(f)) and 2009 Wage Guidance permitting the use of such surveys. Therefore, Prevailing Wage Determination Requests currently pending with the National Prevailing Wage Center that seek to utilize employer provided surveys will be given the appropriate Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage for the occupation. Employers who wish to utilize a Service Contract Act or Davis Bacon Act wage determination or a wage based on a Collective Bargaining Agreement may request redetermination under 20 CFR § 655.10(g). Employers whose prevailing wage determination was based an employer provided wage survey, but whose H-2B Applications for Temporary Employment Certification have not yet resulted in a final determination by the Chicago NPC, will be notified of their new wage obligation along with their certification letters.

  • November 20, 2014. USDA Release of 2014 Farm Labor Survey

    On November 20, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the Farm Labor Survey (FLS) report in which it established the average annual wage rates, by region and the United States, for field and livestock workers. The Department of Labor (Department) relies on the average annual combined hourly wage for field and livestock workers in order to establish the Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) in the H-2A program. The AEWRs are the minimum hourly wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment, so that the wages of workers similarly employed in the United States will not be adversely affected.

    The Department is reviewing the USDA FLS average annual wage rates for 2014 and will soon publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for each state at which time the rates will become immediately effective. To obtain more information on NASS surveys and reports, please call the NASS Agricultural Statistics Hotline at (800) 727-9540, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, or e-mail: nass@nass.usda.gov. To obtain a copy of the latest USDA FLS report, please click here.

  • November 13, 2014. FY 2014 Q4 Cumulative Disclosure Data

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 4 of FY 2014 are now available. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.

  • November 3, 2014.

    iCERT Password Reactivation Reminder

    As of September 30, iCERT users began receiving notifications from OFLC.Portal@dol.gov of passwords set to expire. Accounts that were not updated with a new password within fifteen days of receiving that notification were deactivated.

    If your account has been deactivated and you wish to reactivate it, you will need to provide your secret question and answer pair via the iCERT portal. If you have forgotten your secret question and answer pair, please contact the iCERT Portal Help Desk to request a temporary password.

    Those users that request a new, temporary password from an e-mail address other than the one associated with their iCERT account will not be able to update the account's password due to incompatibility of the temporary password with the registered e-mail address.

    As stated in FAQ #11 of iCERT Frequently Asked Questions, Round 1, in order to change the e-mail address associated with an iCERT account, users must contact the iCERT Portal Help Desk with following information on the account holder's business letterhead:

      1. Action to be taken on the account
      2. Reason for the account change
      3. Account username
      4. Full name of the original contact person on the account (if different from the requestor)
      5. Full name of the new contact person on the account (if applicable)
      6. Name of the business
      7. Current business phone number to contact

    For more detailed instructions, please see the iCERT Quick Start Guide for Enhanced Account Management and contact OFLC.Portal@dol.gov if you have problems. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, the iCert helpdesk is experiencing delays with processing requests to reset account passwords.

  • October 23, 2014.

    As of October 27, 2014, the Atlanta National Processing Center has changed its process and will no longer automatically forward to BALCA all PERM case Requests for Reconsideration where the original case decision was upheld. Rather, a Notice of Decision will be issued when the case is upheld, and the employer must affirmatively request review before BALCA no later than 30 calendar days after the date the Notice of Decision is issued. FAQs now reflect this change in process.

  • October 23, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 4 FY 2014 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program,
    Prevailing Wage Determination Program,
    H-1B Temporary Visa Program,
    H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and
    H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program.
    Reports are derived from program data as of 9/30/2014.The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • October 17, 2014.

    H-1B Legacy records no longer available

    On July 8, 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved OFLC's revised retention schedule following a 30-day period of public notice and review. As part of its review and approval process, NARA determined employer applications for labor certification and supporting documentation, whether retained in paper and electronic form, are temporary records and subject to destruction in accordance with an approved disposition schedule. The OFLC-approved disposition schedule authorizes the retention of records for a period of 5 years following the date a final determination letter is issued or final action occurs, such as a withdrawn application, subject to an active investigation or litigation hold.

    The records NARA identified as permanent records are the annual disclosure data files currently located on the FLC Data Center at http://www.flcdatacenter.com, as well as the quarterly disclosure data files and the OFLC Annual Reports located on the OFLC Performance page at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm.

    Labor Condition Applications (LCA) retained in the LCA Online System are all beyond the retention period of 5 years from a date of final determination or final action. Therefore, effective October 17, 2014, the LCA Online System located at http://www.lca.doleta.gov has been decommissioned.

    The OFLC will no longer respond to inquiries to search for records in response to FOIA requests, or provide information for requests for duplicate certifications for LCA applications processed in the LCA Online System, in keeping with the OFLC records schedule.

  • October 7, 2014.

    Staggered Crossing of Seafood Industry extended through December 11, 2014

    On January 17, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (the "2014 Appropriations Act"), Pub. L. 113-76, which included a provision permitting staggered entry of H-2B workers employed by employers in the seafood industry under certain conditions. Following passage of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, Pub. L. 113-164, this provision now expires on December 11, 2014; accordingly, no staggered entry of H-2B workers after December 11, 2014 will be permitted absent further legislative extensions.

    In order to use the "staggered crossing" provision established by the 2014 Appropriations Act, seafood industry employers must download, complete and sign the official attestation, and provide it to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for presentation, upon request, to the Department of State's Consular Officers and/or the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection officers. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) may be accessed here.

  • September 16, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the FY 2014 Q4 TD selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. Reports are derived from program data as of 8/31/2014.The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • September 10, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the FY 2014 Q4 TD selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. Reports are derived from program data as of 8/31/2014.The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • August 22, 2014.

    IMPORTANT! The iCERT and PERM Systems will be unavailable during the following dates/times as the Department upgrades the databases to Oracle 11g:

    Starting Friday, August 22 at 7:00 pm EST
    Ending Monday, August 25 at 6:00 am EST

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. In the event that the Department's upgrade is delayed or canceled, we will post a revised or new technical announcement. We anticipate all systems returning to normal operations after 6:00 am EST on Monday, August 25.

  • August 19, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted an updated program factsheet containing the Quarter 3 FY 2014 selected statistics for the Prevailing Wage Determination Program, reflecting the correct number of Prevailing wage determinations FYTD. Reports are derived from program data as of 6/30/2014. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • August 19, 2014.

    Correction to FY 2014 Q3 Cumulative Disclosure Data

    OFLC has posted updated versions of the PERM and Prevailing Wage Disclosure Datasets titled "PERM_FY14_Q3.xlsx" and "PWD_FY14_Q3.xlsx." These updated datasets include cumulative data covering October 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.

  • July 31, 2014.

    FY 2014 Q3 Cumulative Disclosure Data

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 3 of FY 2014 are now available. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.

  • July 30, 2014.

    July 30. The Department of State has posted the following announcement:

    "The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to make progress restoring our nonimmigrant visa system to full functionality. Over the weekend, the Department of State implemented system changes aimed at optimizing performance and addressing the challenges we have faced. We are now testing our system capacity to ensure stability. Processing of immigrant visas cases, including adoptions, remains a high priority. Some Embassies and Consulates may temporarily limit or reschedule nonimmigrant visa interview appointments until more system resources become available to process these new applications. We sincerely regret the inconvenience to travelers, and are committed to resolving the problem as soon as possible. Additional updates will be posted to travel.state.gov as more information becomes available."
    For more information, please go to: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english.html

  • July 28, 2014.

    Two new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) have been posted for the PERM Program. The first new FAQ addresses when an employer should mark "yes" when responding to the Question C.9 on the ETA Form 9089: "is there a familial relationship between the foreign worker and the owners, stockholders, partners, corporate officers, and incorporators?" The second FAQ addresses how employers should enter the foreign worker's qualifications, such as certifications, licensure, or other credentials, to show that he/she meets the actual minimum requirements as listed on the ETA Form 9089. To read the FAQs, please click here and scroll to the PERM Familial Relationship and/or Alien Experience subheadings.

  • July 21, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 3 FY 2014 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. Reports are derived from program data as of 6/30/2014.The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • July 1, 2014.

    On July 1, 2014, OFLC uploaded the newest prevailing wage data from the Occupational Employment Survey as generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year from July 2014 - June 2015. The effective date is July 1, 2014. Prevailing wages issued from the National Prevailing Wage Center will reflect the new data.

  • June 9, 2014.

    OFLC has become aware of an anomaly in the published LCA Disclosure dataset titled "H1B_FY2014_Q2". The error is with respect to the listing of the "PW_SOURCE_1" and "PW_SOURCE_2" data. The dataset erroneously listed a numeric code associated with a wage source; it has been corrected to display the actual wage source.

  • June 5, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 3 TD FY 2014 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. Reports are derived from program data as of 5/24/2014.The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • June 2, 2014.

    OFLC has become aware of an anomaly in the published Prevailing Wage Disclosure datasets titled "PWD_FY 2013.xlsx" and "PWD_FY 2014_Q2.xlsx" The error is with respect to the listing of wage levels (Level I-IV) under the column "Pwd_Wage_Level" for all H-2B wage determinations issued on or after April 24, 2013. Effective April 24, 2013 wage levels I-IV were no longer issued for all H-2B wages, and the wage level listed on the disclosure dataset is inaccurate. H-2B OES Wages were and are issued at the OES mean wage.

  • April 21, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted a Disclosure Data User Guide on the Disclosure Data tab of the Performance Data section of their website that provides an example of how, using Microsoft Excel, the OFLC Disclosure Data files can be filtered or sorted to provide relevant information specific to your needs.

  • April 17, 2014. Records Notice of Employer Applications Retained in the LCA Online System for H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Applications Eligible for Destruction

    On July 8, 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved OFLC's revised retention schedule following a 30-day period of public notice and review. As part of its review and approval process, NARA determined employer applications for labor certification and supporting documentation, whether retained in paper and electronic form, are temporary records and subject to destruction in accordance with an approved disposition schedule. The OFLC-approved disposition schedule authorizes the retention of records for a period of 5 years following the date a final determination letter is issued or final action occurs, such as a withdrawn application, subject to an active investigation or litigation hold.

    The records NARA identified as permanent records are the annual disclosure data files currently located on the FLC Data Center at http://www.flcdatacenter.com, as well as the quarterly disclosure data files and the OFLC Annual Reports located on the OFLC Performance page at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm.

    Labor Condition Applications (LCA) retained in the LCA Online System: As of Thursday, April 17, 2014, the OFLC no longer has access to employer H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 application records that are beyond the retention period of 5 years from a date of final determination or final action, and stored in the LCA Online System which is located at: http://www.lca.doleta.gov. The records have been destroyed in accordance with OFLC's Record Schedule DAA-0369-2013-0002. Prior to the destruction of the records, any records within the 5 year retention period, part of an active investigation, Freedom of Information Act requests, or mandatory litigation hold have been identified and were not destroyed. Employers will still be able to access applications processed in 2009. The OFLC will no longer respond to inquiries to search for records in response to FOIA requests, or provide information for requests for duplicate certifications for LCA applications with a final determination issued in 2008 or earlier, in keeping with the OFLC records schedule.

  • April 16, 2014. Staggered Crossing of Seafood Industry (through September 30, 2014)

    On January 17, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (the "2014 Appropriations Act"), Pub. L. 113-76, which includes a provision permitting staggered entry of H-2B workers employed by employers in the seafood industry under certain conditions. This provision expires on September 30, 2014; accordingly, no staggered entry of H-2B workers after September 30, 2014 will be permitted.

    In order to use the "staggered crossing" provision established by the 2014 Appropriations Act, seafood industry employers must download, complete and sign the official attestation, and provide it to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for presentation, upon request, to the Department of State's Consular Officers and/or the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection officers. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) may be accessed here.

  • April 11, 2014.

    The following case disclosure files cover determinations issued between January 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014. A small percentage of determinations are subject to change in subsequent quarterly releases due to appeal or redetermination decisions on employer applications. http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm

  • April 11, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 2 FY 2014 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • March 25, 2014. Customer Reminder Regarding iCERT Compatibility with Internet Explorer.

    This announcement is an important reminder that our iCERT System Web site at http://icert.doleta.gov is best viewed and optimized to work on Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE). Although the iCERT System is functional using other versions of IE or alternative browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, please be aware that you may experience technical issues with screen navigation or other certain "pop-up" windows (e.g., occupation or industry code pop-up functions) appearing within the iCERT System, especially in the Prevailing Wage, H-2A and H-2B modules.

    Until we release an upgrade to the iCERT System in the coming months, customers with IE 9, IE 10, or higher installed on their computers can fix these screen navigation or other technical issues by performing the following minor adjustments to their browser:

    • Step 1: Under the "Tools" option at the top of your IE browser, choose the "F12 developer tools" function
    • Step 2: When the function bar is displayed, click on the "Browser Mode: IE# Compat View" option
    • Step 3: From the drop down menu, choose "Internet Explorer 8"

    Once you completed these basic steps, your browser will be compatible with IE 8 and the iCERT System technical issues should be resolved. Please do not hesitate to contact the iCERT System Help Desk at oflc.portal@dol.gov if you are continuing to have difficulties accessing the system. Thank you.

  • March 25, 2014.

    LCAs Approved, But Email Notifications Not Always Getting to Submitter: Please be advised that OFLC's iCERT system is experiencing an IT glitch with respect to the issuance of confirmation emails for Labor Condition Applications (LCAs). OFLC is working to resolve this issue. We strongly recommend that submitters continue to check their iCERT accounts to confirm LCA status and to retrieve and print certified LCAs.

  • March 14, 2014. Federal Register Notice Announcing Notification of Status of the 2011 H-2B Wage Rule.

    The Department of Labor has published a Notification in the Federal Register to provide notice to the regulated community of the status of the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program, published January 19, 2011, (2011 Wage Rule) in the Federal Register. To read the Notice, please click here.

  • March 5, 2014. Federal Register Notice Announcing the 2014 Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including Lodging for the H-2A Program.

    The Department of Labor has published a Notice in the Federal Register to announce the allowable charges for 2014 that employers seeking H-2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim in 2014. The Notice also includes a reminder regarding employers' obligations with respect to overnight lodging costs as part of required subsistence for the H-2A program. To read the Notice, please click here.

  • February 24, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has replaced an incorrect link previously located on the OFLC's Performance Data Page, Disclosure Data Tab. The Fiscal Year 2012 PW_Case_Data_FY2012 link has been updated and now directs users to the correct FY 2012 Prevailing Wage Disclosure Data File.

  • February 21, 2014. New FAQ regarding notification and consideration of laid-off U.S. workers for PERM applications

    New Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). This FAQ addresses how an employer is to demonstrate that it notified and considered laid-off U.S. workers for the job opportunity listed on the ETA Form 9089. To read the FAQ, please click here and scroll to the PERM / Recruitment Report subheading

  • February 18, 2014.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 1 FY 2014 selected statistics for the
    Permanent Labor Certification Program,
    Prevailing Wage Determination Program,
    H-1B Temporary Visa Program,
    H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and
    H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program.
    The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 1 of FY 2014 are now available. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.

  • February 4, 2014. Deactivation of Select H-2A and H-2B Mailboxes.

    In order to implement the Department's IT modernization initiative and new cloud computing requirements, the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) deactivated the following email boxes on February 3, 2014:

    • H2A.Amend-Extend.Chicago@dol.gov
    • H2A.Abandonment-Termination.Chicago@dol.gov
    • H-2B.Amend-Extend.Chicago@dol.gov
    • H2B.Abandonment-Termination.Chicago@dol.gov

    Accordingly, H-2A and H-2B employers who need to request amendments/extensions or submit notices of worker abandonments and terminations must use the TLC.Chicago@dol.gov mailbox. Please remember to include "Amend and Extend" or "Abandonment and Termination", as applicable, in the "Subject" line of your e-mail.

    Employers may also continue to submit these requests via fax on (312) 886-1688 or U.S. mail at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Office of Foreign Labor Certification
    Chicago National Processing Center
    11 West Quincy Court Chicago, IL 60604-2105
    Attention: H-2A Program Unit
  • January 31, 2014. Maintaining Integrity in PERM: Program Compliance and Audits.

    Section 212(a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the Secretary to certify the admissibility of a foreign national for employment only when the Secretary can certify that the employment of that foreign worker will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of US workers similarly employed, and that there is a job opportunity for which a US worker is unavailable. As the regulated community knows, the Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is responsible for maintaining the integrity and compliance of the primarily attestation-based PERM Program through the use of certain measures, including audit and supervised recruitment, under a broad integrity review authority. At the time of PERM's implementation, the Department stated that OFLC would select certain applications for audit, employing "auditing techniques that can be adjusted as necessary to maintain program integrity", as well as for quality control. 69 Fed. Reg. 77326, 77328 (Dec. 27, 2004). The Department noted at the time the need for changing audit criteria to focus integrity efforts on program abuse and adjust the audit mechanism as necessary as we gained program experience. 69 Fed. Reg. 77359. Finally, the Department reserved the process of supervised recruitment for a broad application "in any case in which the C[ertifying] O[fficer] deems it appropriate" as a reasonable quality control mechanism. 69 Fed. Reg. 77360, 77362.

    In response to a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we are releasing and making available to all of the regulated community the following documentation regarding the areas in the PERM Program that have in the past warranted this closer examination. Click here to view the OFLC Audit Plan. These areas were deliberately chosen to ensure we are carrying out our statutory responsibilities while also recognizing the evolving nature of program integrity and quality control.

    We hope the publication of this information assists filers, especially first-time filers, comply with the PERM Program's various requirements.

  • January 24, 2014. The Department has released its Foreign Labor Certification Annual Report for FY 2012.

    The 2012 Annual Report presents information on the Prevailing Wage Determination Process, Permanent Labor Certification, and Temporary Nonimmigrant Labor Certification for FY 2012. The report also contains State Employment-Based Labor Certification Profiles, information on STEM-related occupations in the labor certification programs, H-2A Agricultural Certification Statistics, and top Country Employment-Based Immigration Profiles. Click here to view the 2012 Annual Report.

  • January 3, 2014. New 2014 H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs).

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for each state, based on the Farm Labor Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The AEWRs are the minimum hourly wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment for a particular agricultural job and area, so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. To read the Federal Register notice please click here.

  • Calendar Year 2013
    Top
  • December 20, 2013. Island Holdings

    On December 3, 2013, The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) issued an en banc decision in The Matter of Island Holdings LLC (2013-PWD-00002). That decision vacated the supplemental prevailing wage determinations issued in light of the Department's Interim Final H-2B Wage Rule (78 Fed. Reg. 24047, April 24, 2013). A class action complaint has been filed in the district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging the Island Holdings decision, CATA v. Perez, 13-CV-07213. After a full review of the Island Holdings decision and the district court complaint, the Department has decided to postpone action on the Island Holdings decision pending judicial review, as permitted by the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 705. This action is in the interest of justice, given the confusion and substantial disruption that would be created if the Department implemented the decision and it was subsequently overturned by the district court. Accordingly, all OFLC actions related to the resolution of appeals in the supplemental prevailing wage decisions will be stayed, pending the resolution of the district court action. Please continue to check back on this site for additional information.

  • December 4, 2013. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) will accept wage source changes to PWD requests in H-2Bs

    The NPWC is experiencing an unprecedented number of prevailing wage determination requests (PWDRs) for H-2B labor certifications, many of which include surveys. The lingering effect of the government shutdown, coupled with the complexity of reviewing new surveys, has resulted in increasing wait times for PWDs with survey requests. Employers' needs may not be able to accommodate the longer processing times, although the NPWC is working to reduce the processing time of these surveys as quickly as possible. Accordingly, for a limited time, an employer wishing to abandon the survey request made at the time of submitting the PWDR and accept in its place a prevailing wage based on the OES may do so without losing the receipt date of the original PWDR. To take advantage of this, the requestor must email the NPWC Helpdesk at FLC.PWD@dol.gov The email should be titled "REQUEST TO CHANGE H-2B SURVEY REQUEST" and must include the following information: the PWD request number, the name of the requestor, the name of the employer, the occupation, and the statement "By submitting this request I give the NPWC permission to modify the 9141 and I understand and accept the requirement to pay the OES prevailing wage to be provided to me, in accordance with H-2B regulations." Such requests will be accepted only until December 31, 2013. Once the request has been made, an employer may not revert to the survey request by requesting its use in a Redetermination or Center Director Review on that determination.

  • November 20, 2013.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted revised program factsheets containing the FY 2013 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, and the FY 2013 H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Program. The revised program factsheets may be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

    The Department published three final rules eliminating OFLC regulations that have been made obsolete by statutory or regulatory changes. The H-1A nursing visa (20 CFR 655 subparts D and E) and the F-1 student off-campus work permit (20 CFR 655 subparts J and K) regulations were based on statutes that sunset September 30, 1997 and September 30, 1996, respectively; the programs sunset at later dates and have now been completed. The logging provisions in 20 CFR subpart C were incorporated into the H-2A regulations published in the Department of Labor's final rule, Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States, 75 FR 6884 (Feb. 12, 2010). To see the H-1A rule, click here. To see the F-1 rule, click here, To see the logging rule, click here.

  • November 14, 2013. USDA Postpones Release of 2014 H-2A AEWR Wage Data.

    On October 17, 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a change in the schedule for the release of certain reports due to the lapse in Federal appropriations resulting in the Government shutdown. Among the affected reports is the Farm Labor Survey (FLS) report upon which the Department relies in order to establish the Adverse Effect Wage Rates in the H-2A program. The new release date for the FLS report will be December 5, 2013. To learn more, please read the USDA News Release.

  • November 12, 2013.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 4 FY 2013 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • October 31, 2013. OFLC Stakeholder Notice regarding handling of applications and responses after government shutdown

    OFLC appreciates the challenges the regulated community has experienced as a result of the lapse in appropriations, which resulted in the cessation of the operation of OFLC's electronic systems, and further resulted in a backlog of documents submitted to OFLC during that period by mail, hand-delivery, or email. As a result of the government shutdown, OFLC is implementing the following temporary changes to its standard procedures related to document timeliness:

    1. Submissions mailed, couriered, or emailed to OFLC and received between October 1 and October 18:

      Submissions are applications that the National Processing Centers (Chicago, Atlanta, or Prevailing Wage Center) could not receive electronically through the iCERT system during the shutdown, and were mailed, delivered by private courier (Federal Express, etc.) or emailed to OFLC. These include Applications for Permanent Employment Certification (PERM, ETA 9089), Applications for Temporary Employment Certification (H-2B, H-2A ETA 9142), and Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations (ETA 9141).

      Because of the backlog in submissions that were mailed, delivered or emailed to OFLC for shutdown-related reasons or otherwise, all submissions received by OFLC between October 1 and October 18 will be considered received on October 18. For example, a PERM application mailed to the Atlanta National Processing Center on October 5 will be given a receipt date of October 18, 2013. If an October 18 receipt date on an application would otherwise render out-of-date the recruitment or prevailing wage determination used for the application, the application will be deemed to have been timely filed for the purpose of the recruitment or the prevailing wage determination.

    2. PERM and H-2B submissions with time-sensitive recruitment or prevailing wage determinations NOT mailed or delivered to OFLC during the shutdown:

      Employers that decided not to mail or deliver PERM or H-2B submissions to OFLC because of the shutdown may now have recruitment or prevailing wage determinations that are out-of-date because of the shutdown-related delay. These employers may now mail or file electronically in PERM or iCERT (see note below about iCERT filing) submissions for receipt NO LATER THAN November 14, 2013. This accommodation applies only to PERM and H-2B applications that had timely recruitment or prevailing wage determinations during the shutdown period and are now unsuitable for filing due to expired recruitment or prevailing wage determinations. Employers with time-sensitive recruitment or prevailing wage determinations who delayed their filings until after October 18, 2013 will be deemed to have been timely filed for the purpose of the recruitment or the prevailing wage determination. For mailed submissions, please include a pink sheet of paper as a cover page for the submission and label that cover sheet as a "shutdown pre-empted submission" so that it is properly handled in our mailrooms.

      Note for PERM and H-2B iCERT filers: PERM and H-2B applications with out-of-date recruitment or prevailing wage determinations may also be submitted electronically. The system will warn the user that the application contains information that will cause the application to be denied, but such an application will not be denied for this reason. As with PERM and H-2B submissions with out-of-date recruitment or prevailing wage determinations that are mailed, no application with expired recruitment or expired prevailing wage determinations will be accepted after November 14, 2013.

    3. Employer responses to OFLC directives that were due between October 1 and October 18, 2013 but were NOT transmitted to OFLC:

      In the H-2A, H-2B and PERM programs, some employers may have been directed by OFLC to respond by a deadline that occurred from October 1, 2013 to October 18, 2013. Responses that were due to the OFLC during this period but NOT transmitted will have their due dates extended to November 14, 2013. The deadline extension applies to the following documents in the following programs:

      For Prevailing Wage Determinations:

      • Responses to Requests For Information

      In H-2A and H-2B:

      • Responses to Notices of Deficiencies or Requests for Further Information
      • Audit Responses
      • Responses to Notices of Intent to Debar

      In PERM:

      • Responses to information requests related to employer sponsorship
      • Audit/AAIR responses
      • Responses to Requests For Information
      • Responses to requests for review of advertisements in supervised recruitment
      • Responses to supervised recruitment (Recruitment Instructions Letters)
      • Responses to Notices of Intent to Revoke or to Debar
    4. Employer responses to OFLC directives that were due between October 1 and October 18, 2013 and were transmitted to OFLC during that period:

      Responses to OFLC directives in the H-2A, H-2B and PERM programs (those noted in no. 3 above) that were due between October 1 and October 18, 2013, and were transmitted via mail, hand-delivery or email during that time will be considered received on October 18 and timely.

    If an applicant transmitted an application or response by mail, hand-delivery or email between October 1 and October 18, 2013, and the employer has not received notice that the transmission was undeliverable, the employer should NOT re-submit it.

    Employers are reminded that if they view a PERM application as erroneously denied during this period based on out-of-date recruitment, they may submit the request for reconsideration to the attention of the government error queue.

    None of the temporary procedures established in this notice apply to appeals to the BALCA. Employers are encouraged to contact the BALCA for information related to deadlines applicable to appeals.

  • October 30, 2013. Records Notice of Employer Applications Retained in Permanent Backlog System (PBLS) Eligible for Destruction

    On July 8, 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved OFLC's revised retention schedule following a 30-day period of public notice and review. As part of its review and approval process, NARA determined employer applications for labor certification and supporting documentation, whether retained in paper and electronic form, are temporary records and subject to destruction in accordance with an approved disposition schedule. The OFLC-approved disposition schedule authorizes the retention of records for a period of 5 years following the date a final determination letter is issued, subject to an active investigation or litigation hold.

    The records NARA identified as permanent records are the annual disclosure data files currently located on the FLC Data Center at http://www.flcdatacenter.com, as well as the quarterly disclosure data files and the OFLC Annual Reports located on the OFLC Performance page at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm.

    Permanent program applications retained in the OFLC Permanent Backlog System (PBLS): As of October 25, 2013 the OFLC no longer has access to employer application records that are beyond the retention period of 5 years from the date a final determination was issued and stored in the PBLS system. The PBLS system, which was previously used by the OFLC Backlog Processing Centers, has now been destroyed in accordance with OFLC Records Schedule Number DAA-0369-2013-0002. Prior to destruction of the PBLS system software and database, any records within the 5-year retention period, active investigation, Freedom of Information Act requests, or mandatory litigation hold have been identified and were not destroyed.

    The OFLC will no longer respond to inquiries to confirm priority dates, search for records in response to FOIA requests, or provide information for requests for duplicate certifications for permanent labor certification applications with a final determination issued in 2008 or earlier, in keeping with the OFLC records schedule.

  • October 28, 2013. Notice to H-2A Stakeholders: Accommodation PDFs will Continue Through November 18th

    On October 21st, OFLC announced, as a temporary accommodation not to exceed 30 days, it would send an Adobe PDF of an approved certification to H-2A employers and authorized representatives. That accommodation will be continued through November 18, 2013.

  • October 28, 2013. Revised ETA Forms 232 and 232A for the H-2A Program

    The Department has revised the ETA Form 232, Domestic Agricultural In-Season Wage Report and ETA Form 232-A, Wage Survey Interview Record which are used by State Workforce Agencies (SWA) to collect wage information from agricultural employers for the H-2A program. This enhanced survey and reporting mechanism will allow for a more accurate data collection by the SWAs in support of the direct administration of the foreign labor certification programs. As of the date of this announcement, State Workforce Agencies should use the new forms for future H-2A program wage reporting to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification. To access the revised forms please click here.

  • October 28, 2013. USCIS Announces Temporary Accommodation for Form I-129 H-2A Petitions
    On October 23, 2013, USCIS issued the following alert:

    With the reopening of the federal government, USCIS has been informed that the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification is once again accepting and processing applications, including Temporary Labor Certifications (TLCs).

    On Oct. 21, 2013, DOL issued an announcement to H-2A stakeholders stating that once the TLC is certified, the Chicago National Processing Center will send an email to the employer and its authorized representative containing an Adobe PDF of the labor certification. The employer would need to print, sign and date the PDF version for submission to USCIS with the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

    USCIS usually requires that a petitioner submit the certified TLC on blue security paper with original signatures. Beginning today, USCIS in consultation with DOL, has determined that USCIS will temporarily accept Form I-129 H-2A petitions that are filed with a copy of the certified TLC. During this temporary accommodation, the signatures on the TLC submitted to USCIS do not need to be original. This temporary accommodation is being implemented because of the unique time sensitivities associated with agricultural work.

    H-2A petitioners must submit the original Form I-129 petition, all required fees, and supporting documentation with a copy of the signed, certified TLC. DOL has indicated that this accommodation should last no longer than 30 days. USCIS will provide further guidance on when this accommodation will expire. At that time, H-2A petitioners will once again be required to submit the signed original of the certified TLC with their H-2A petition.

  • October 21, 2013. Notice to Stakeholders Regarding H-2A Certifications

    As a result of the unique perishable nature of agricultural commodities in the H-2A program, OFLC will temporarily (for a period not to exceed 30 days) implement the following mailing procedure:

    1. Upon certification of an H-2A application, the Chicago National Processing Center will send the employer and its authorized representative an Adobe PDF of the labor certification via e-mail. The employer would need to print, sign and date the PDF version for submission to USCIS with the I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker(s).
    2. The original (secure) H-2A labor certification will be delivered overnight to the employer or its authorized representative in line with normal OFLC practices.
  • September 30, 2013. Notice to Stakeholders Regarding Lapse in Appropriations

    The Administration is working very hard to avoid a government shutdown and believes there is sufficient time to avoid such an occurrence; however, prudent management requires the Department to plan for the possibility that it may need to suspend operations should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill by midnight on Monday, September 30, 2013.

    OFLC functions are not "excepted" from a shutdown and its employees would be placed in furlough status should a lapse in appropriated funds occur. Consequently, in the event of a government shutdown, OFLC will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses) it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC's web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System, would become static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

    The Department has posted to its website information on the potential shutdown that can be accessed here.

  • September 26, 2013. Records Notice of Employer applications retained in Paradox database

    On July 8, 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved OFLC's revised retention schedule following a 30-day period of public notice and review. As part of its review and approval process, NARA determined employer applications for labor certification and supporting documentation, whether retained in paper and electronic form, are temporary records and subject to destruction in accordance with an approved disposition schedule. The OFLC-approved disposition schedule authorizes the retention of records for a period of 5 years following the date a final determination letter is issued, subject to an active investigation or litigation hold.

    The records NARA identified as permanent records are the annual disclosure data files currently located on the FLC Data Center at http://www.flcdatacenter.com, as well as the quarterly disclosure data files and the OFLC Annual Reports located on the OFLC Performance page at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm.

    Permanent program applications retained in Paradox Database - As of September 26, 2013, the OFLC no longer has access to employer application records or screen shots of such records filed in 2002 or earlier stored in the Paradox database. The Paradox database, which was the system used by the ETA Regional Offices and which is no longer used in the administration of the Permanent Program, was destroyed. This database contained information related to employer applications (screenshots of text) filed in 2002 or earlier where the records have been destroyed. In accordance with OFLC Records Schedule Number DAA-0369-2013-0002, the Paradox database and information contained in this database was destroyed on September 26, 2013. Prior to destruction of this database, the OFLC completed searches related to these records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests that were pending within the office. Any records subject to an active investigation or litigation hold have been identified and were not destroyed. The OFLC is no longer able to respond to inquiries to confirm priority dates, search for records in response to FOIA requests, or provide information for requests for duplicate certifications.

  • September 24, 2013. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) updates its records retention schedule to include case management systems and electronic records.

    On July 8, 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved OFLC's revised record retention schedule following a 30-day period of public notice and review. During its review and approval process, NARA determined employer application files and supporting documentation, whether retained in paper or electronic form, to be temporary records and subject to destruction in accordance with an approved disposition schedule. The OFLC approved disposition schedule authorizes retention of records for a period of 5 years following the date a final determination letter is issued, subject to an active investigation or litigation hold. Employer applications that are part of an active investigation or pending litigation are exempted from the approved disposition schedule and will be retained until the investigation and/or litigation matters are closed. This approved disposition schedule limits retention of both paper and electronic records to a 5-year period. Records retained by the OFLC beyond the 5-year period will be destroyed on at least an annual schedule or as determined by the OFLC.

    Furthermore, this approved disposition schedule authorizes the destruction of case management systems and software as they become obsolete and are no longer needed to administer the program(s). For example, the Paradox database, formerly used by the ETA Regional Offices, and which is no longer needed in the administration of the Permanent Program, will be destroyed by September 26, 2013. This database contains texts of information related to employer applications filed in 2002 or earlier where the records have been destroyed. The text is called screenshots. As the OFLC implements its approved disposition schedule, we will provide notice to the public identifying the records and, where applicable, the associating case management systems and software being destroyed.

    The records NARA identified as permanent records are the annual disclosure data files currently located on the FLC Data Center at http://www.flcdatacenter.com; as well as the quarterly disclosure data files and the OFLC Annual Reports located on the OFLC Performance page at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm.

  • September 18, 2013. H-2A and H-2B Ombudsman Customer Service On-line Survey

    The OFLC Ombudsman is pleased to announce a new on-line survey intended to encourage stakeholder feedback on their experience with Ombudsman Program. Survey questions are designed to promote the enhancement of customer service and overall satisfaction with the Program. The survey is located on both the H-2A and H-2B Ombudsman webpages: H-2A Ombudsman Webpage  H-2B Ombudsman Webpage

  • August 29, 2013. Final Rule in H-2B Program

    On August 30, 2013, the Department of Labor (Department) will publish in the Federal Register a final rule to delay indefinitely the effective date of the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment H-2B Program final rule (2011 Wage Rule), which was published on January 19, 2011, 76 FR 3452. This final rule is being published in order to comply with recurrent legislation that prohibits the Department from using any funds to implement the 2011 Wage Rule, and also to permit time for consideration of the public comments that were sought in conjunction with a separate H-2B wage interim final rule (IFR) published April 24, 2013, 78 FR 24047. This final rule does not affect the IFR, which establishes the current prevailing wage methodology for the H-2B program; that rule remains in effect. To see the final rule, please click here.

  • August 15, 2013. Selected Statistics Update

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted revised program factsheets containing the FY 2012 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, and the FY 2013 YTD Prevailing Wage Determination Program. The revised program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page. In addition, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification has also posted updated historical case disclosure data for FY 2012 for the Permanent Labor Certification Program and FY 2013 YTD for the Prevailing Wage Determination Program.

  • August 12, 2013. ETA-9033 and ETA-9033A Proposed Changes.

    The Department has published a Notice in the Federal Register announcing a 60-day comment period on its proposed changes to the form ETA-9033, Attestation by Employers Using Alien Crewmembers for Longshore Activities in U.S. Ports and ETA-9033A, Attestation by Employers Using Alien Crewmembers for Longshore Activities in the State of Alaska. To read the Notice, please click here. To obtain a copy of the forms with proposed changes and the supporting documentation please submit your request to ETA.OFLC.Forms@dol.gov, subject line: Revised Form ETA-9033. Comments to the package must be submitted on or before October 7, 2013.

  • July 26, 2013. Q3 FY 2013 Selected Statistics by Program

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 3 FY 2013 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification ProgramPrevailing Wage Determination ProgramH-1B Temporary Visa ProgramH-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 3 of FY 2013 are now available. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.
  • July 18, 2013. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in H-2B Program

    The Department of Labor (Department) is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to delay indefinitely the effective date of the 2011 H-2B Wage Rule.  The NPRM is being published in order to comply with recurrent legislation that prohibits the Department from using any funds to implement the 2011 H-2B Wage Rule, and also to permit time for consideration of the public comments that were sought in conjunction with a separate H-2B wage interim final rule published April 24, 2013, 78 FR 24047.  Comments are being accepted on the NPRM until August 9, 2013.  To see the NPRM please click here
  • July 1, 2013. DOL Open Government Initiative: Labor Certification Registry Goes Live!

    The Department is pleased to announce the implementation of the Labor Certification Registry (LCR) on the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's (OFLC) iCERT Visa Portal System web site. The LCR provides the public with access to appropriately redacted copies of H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B and permanent labor certification documents issued by OFLC, as well as quarterly and annual case disclosure data. To learn more about the LCR, please read the Department's Federal Register notice. To access the LCR, please click here.
  • June 27, 2013. Q3 FY 2013 Selected Statistics by Program

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 3 FY 2013 selected statistics as of June 15, 2013, for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.
  • June 19, 2013. OFLC Help Desk Contacts

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is making available a centralized listing of all program and technical Help Desks. This list is located on the permanent left navigation bar under the "Office of Foreign Labor Certification" heading, and is also available here.
  • June 18, 2013. Revised Form 9141

    A revised version of the ETA Form 9141 will be implemented in the iCERT Portal on June 18. The form changes were pursued through the Paperwork Reduction Act process and have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget. Minor changes were made to clarify information needed for more efficient application processing. A fillable copy of the form is available here.

    The 9141 is a form that is electronically fillable and fileable through the Department's online iCERT system. Requests submitted prior to June 18 using the iCERT Portal based on the previous ETA Form 9141 will be completed and returned using that version of the form. Any form initiated in a user's system but not submitted, however, will not be able to be submitted. In addition, requests on the previous ETA Form 9141 can no longer be "reused" in iCERT to submit a new request for processing. Users can complete a new form by logging into your iCERT Portal account, clicking on "Begin New ETA Form 9141" and completing all the mandatory fields. Click here to access iCERT.

  • May 30, 2013. USCIS Publishes a Revised Version of Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will no longer accept prior versions of Form G-28 after May 26, 2013. The new version of the Form G-28 and its instructions, which were published on March 28, 2013, can be accessed by clicking here. All fields of the Form G-28 must be completed and signed by both the client and the attorney or accredited representative. Each individual application or petition must be accompanied by a separate, completed and signed Form G-28.

  • May 6, 2013. FY 2013 Q2 Disclosure Files.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 2 of FY 2013 are now available. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts.

  • April 25, 2013. USCIS Resumes Adjudication of All H-2B Petitions Following Publication of Interim Final Rule.

    As announced by USCIS on April 25, 2013, USCIS has resumed processing of all Form I-129, H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers. Read the USCIS Alert.

  • April 25, 2013. H-2B Wage Methodology Interim Final Rule and Frequently Asked Questions.

    On April 24, 2013, the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security published in the Federal Register a joint Interim Final Rule, Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment H-2B Program, Part 2. The joint Interim Final Rule, revises the prevailing wage methodology used by the Department of Labor to calculate certain prevailing wages paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification, and has been published in response to a court order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on March 21, 2013, in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 09-cv-00240 (E.D. Pa). The court order vacated a portion of the 2008 wage methodology rule dealing with the way the Department of Labor determines the prevailing wage when relying on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, and provided the Department of Labor with 30 days to come into compliance.

    On April 24, 2013, the effective date of the Interim Final Rule, the Department of Labor also resumed processing both pending H-2B prevailing wage requests and H-2B applications for temporary labor certification based on the OES wage survey data, in accordance with standards set in the Interim Final Rule. To learn more about the revised H-2B prevailing wage methodology, please read the Interim Final Rule.

    In addition, the Department of Labor is making available Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist filers with complying with the requirements of the joint Interim Final Rule. The FAQs address the applicability of the new prevailing wage methodology, employer wage obligations, requests for review and the processing of pending H-2B prevailing wage requests and H-2B applications for temporary labor certification. To learn more, please read the FAQs. Important Note: These FAQs have been updated as of April 25, 2013.

    We encourage stakeholders to sign up to receive e-mail alerts to ensure receipt of most recent updates affecting the H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. Instructions for signing up for e-mail updates are provided below.

    E-Mail Update Instructions: On the home page of the OFLC web site, under the E-mail Updates heading, enter your e-mail address and then click the "Subscribe" button. You will be directed to the Department's E-mail Subscription Service page. On that page, under the Employment and Training Administration heading, please select a checkbox next to "Foreign Labor Certification Website" and then click the "Submit" button.

  • April 11, 2013. Quarter 2 FY 2013 Selected Statistics by Program.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the Quarter 2 FY 2013 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • April 4, 2013. Update on Suspension of Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions Following Court Order.

    As announced by USCIS on April 2, 2013, USCIS has temporarily suspended adjudication of certain Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers.

    For more complete information, please visit http://go.usa.gov/2uRT.

  • April 2, 2013. USCIS Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions.

    Effective March 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the Department of Labor's (DOL) 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave DOL 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order. Read the alert.

  • April 1, 2013

    Effective March 22, the Department is holding in abeyance the issuance of final determinations on most pending H-2B applications for temporary labor certification and those it received after March 22, while it considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave the Department 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order.

    The Department will, however, continue to process and issue final determinations on H-2B applications for temporary labor certification where the employer's wage offer is based upon a prevailing wage not enjoined by the court order: those utilizing applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, acceptable private wage surveys or Service Contract Act or Davis Bacon Act wage determinations. The Department intends to promulgate a revised wage rule within 30 days of the date of the Court order. This will allow the Department to resume providing employers with both prevailing wage determinations and final determinations on their H-2B applications for temporary labor certification.

    We encourage stakeholders to sign up to receive e-mail updates through the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) web site. Instructions for signing up for e-mail updates are provided below.

    E-Mail Update Instructions: On the home page of the OFLC web site, under the E-mail Updates heading, enter your e-mail address and then click the "Subscribe" button. You will be directed to the Department's E-mail Subscription Service page. On that page, under the Employment and Training Administration heading, please select a checkbox next to "Foreign Labor Certification Website" and then click the "Submit" button.

  • March 29, 2013. H-2B Wage Final Rule Update: Delay of Effective Date.

    The Department of Labor has published a notice in the Federal Register delaying the effective date of the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program final rule (2011 Wage Final Rule), which was published on January 19, 2011, 76 FR 3452. In light of the enactment of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, Pub. L. 113-6, which establishes the Department's appropriations through September 30, 2013, and also continues the prohibition of the expenditure of the Department's appropriated funds to implement, administer, and enforce the 2011 Wage Final Rule, the Department is delaying the effective date of the 2011 Wage Final Rule. To read the Final Rule please click here.

  • March 28, 2013. H-2A Program: Prevailing Wage Rates for Certain Occupations Processed under H-2A Special Procedures, Correction/Rescission Notice.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice correcting certain prevailing wage rates established by the January 8, 2013 notice for H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment engaged in the open range production of livestock in Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. In addition, this notice rescinds prevailing wage rates established by the January 8, 2013 notice for H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment engaged in sheepherding and goatherding occupations in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. In the absence of the January 8 prevailing wage rates for sheepherding and goatherding, the Department is reverting to previously established prevailing wage rates for these occupations. To learn more, please read the Federal Register notice.

  • March 28, 2013

    Effective March 22, the Department is holding in abeyance most pending H-2B prevailing wage requests and those it received after March 22, while it considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the 2008 wage rule related to prevailing wage determinations and gave the Department 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order. The result is that the Department can no longer make prevailing wage determinations based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey four tier wage system. The Department will, however, continue to process prevailing wage requests not enjoined by the court order: those utilizing applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, acceptable private wage surveys or Service Contract Act or Davis Bacon Act wage determinations. The Department intends to comply with the Court order within 30 days by promulgating a revised wage rule. This will allow the Department to resume providing employers with prevailing wage determinations.

    We encourage stakeholders to sign up to receive e-mail updates through the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) web site. Instructions for signing up for e-mail updates are provided below.

    E-Mail Update Instructions: On the home page of the OFLC web site, under the E-mail Updates heading, enter your e-mail address and then click the "Subscribe" button. You will be directed to the Department's E-mail Subscription Service page. On that page, under the Employment and Training Administration heading, please select a checkbox next to "Foreign Labor Certification Website" and then click the "Submit" button.

  • March 12, 2013. H-2A Program: 2013 Allowable Meal Charges and Travel Subsistence.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice establishing the 2013 allowable meal charges and maximum travel subsistence reimbursement amounts. The 2013 allowable charge for providing three meals a day is set at $11.42 per day, although employers may petition the Chicago National Processing Center for a higher charge if justified by documentation of actual costs. Similarly, the 2013 minimum subsistence charge for meals during travel is set at $11.42 a day. The maximum travel subsistence for meals will remain set at $46.00 per day again this year for those workers who submit receipts substantiating a higher expense. Workers may claim up to $34.50 with receipts for travel subsistence when traveling less than a full day. The new 2013 amounts are effective upon publication in the Federal Register. To learn more, please read the Federal Register notice.

  • March 1, 2013. H-2A Program: 2013 Allowable Meal Charges and Travel Subsistence.

    The Department expects to publish within a week a notice in the Federal Register establishing the 2013 allowable meal charges and maximum travel subsistence reimbursement amounts. The new 2013 amounts will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register, which the Department will announce on this website.

  • February 25, 2013. Prevailing Wage Frequently Asked Questions.

    The Department of Labor has posted new FAQs for the Prevailing Wage Center. Topics include electronic form issues, multiple worksite issues, employer surveys, special skills, and withdrawals. These FAQs are available on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Prevailing Wage heading.

  • February 20, 2013. New iCERT System Enhancement: Reuse ETA Form 9035E Function.

    On Monday, February 25th, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification will implement an enhancement to its Labor Condition Application (LCA) Electronic Filing Module within the iCERT System allowing employers or their authorized attorneys or agents to reuse previously filed LCAs under the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa programs. This new feature is expected to significantly reduce the administrative time and cost of preparing and submitting the ETA Form 9035E. To learn more about the new reuse feature please read this factsheet.

  • February 13, 2013. H-2A Program Frequently Asked Questions, Round 8.

    The Department of Labor has posted new FAQs for the H-2A program. Topics include custom combine activities, housing inspections, filing an application, rates of pay, reimbursable costs, surety bonds, and recruitment. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

  • February 11, 2013. FY 2013 Selected Statistics by Program.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the FY 2013 Q1 selected statistics for the:

    The program information included in the factsheets is for the 2013 Fiscal Year Q1 (October 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012). The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • February 4, 2013. H-2A Program Frequently Asked Questions, Round 7.

    The Department of Labor has posted new FAQs for the H-2A program. Topics include signatures, job preferences, and fees. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

  • February 1, 2013. H-2A Prevailing Wage Rates for the Sheepherding/Goatherding and the Open Range Production of Livestock Occupations: UPDATE.

    On January 8, 2013, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register establishing new 2013 prevailing wage rates for certain occupations processed under H-2A special procedures, including for sheepherding/goatherding and open range production of livestock occupations which became effective immediately. See, 78 FR 1260 (Jan. 8, 2013). The Department is hereby updating prevailing wage rates for these occupations that must be offered and paid in certain states effective as of January 8, 2013. To access these prevailing wage rates please click here.

  • January 24, 2013. Open Government Initiative: iCERT Labor Certification Registry.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the implementation on July 1, 2013 of the latest component of the Department's Open Government Initiative - the iCERT Labor Certification Registry (LCR). The LCR is intended to enhance transparency of the labor certification process by making generally available appropriately redacted copies of labor certification documents issued by the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification in the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B and the Permanent labor certification programs. To learn more about the Labor Certification Registry, please read the Federal Register notice.

  • January 8, 2013. FY 2013 New 2013 H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs).

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for each state based on the Farm Labor Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The AEWRs are the minimum hourly wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in corresponding employment for a particular agricultural job and area so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. To read the Federal Register notice please click here.

    Important Note: The Department will publish a separate Federal Register Notice to announce the allowable charges for 2013 that employers seeking H-2A workers may charge for meals as well as the maximum travel subsistence reimbursement that a worker can claim. Until that Federal Register Notice is published, employers should continue to use the current meal charges and maximum travel subsistence which may be accessed here.

  • January 8, 2013. FY 2013 New Prevailing Wage Rates for Certain Occupations Processed Under H-2A Special Procedures.

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register establishing new prevailing wage rates for certain occupations processed under H-2A special procedures. The wage rates established by this Federal Register notice apply only to the following activities: open range production of livestock, itinerant animal shearing, sheepherding and goatherding, and custom combine operations. To read the Federal Register notice please click here.


Calendar Year 2012
Top
  • December 17, 2012. The Department has released its Foreign Labor Certification Annual Report for FY 2011.

    The 2011 Annual Report presents information on the Prevailing Wage Determination Process, Permanent Labor Certification and Temporary Nonimmigrant Labor Certification for FY 2011. The report also contains State Employment-Based Labor Certification Profiles, information on STEM-related occupations in the labor certification programs, H-2A Agricultural Certification Statistics, and Country Employment-Based Immigration Profiles. Click here to view the Annual Report.

  • December 03, 2012. Implementation of Electronic Filing in H-2B and H-2A Programs Frequently Asked Questions.

    The Department has posted the first round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing the implementation of electronic filing in the H-2B and H-2A labor certification programs through the Department's iCERT Visa Portal System.  The FAQs are largely based on questions received from participants in the four webinar training sessions conducted by the Office of Foreign Labor Certification, and are published to assist program users in navigating electronic filing in the H-2B and H-2A programs. To read the FAQs please click here. To learn more about the implementation of electronic filing, please click here.

  • November 15, 2012. FY 2012 Q4 Disclosure Files.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 4 of FY 2012 are now available in CSV format. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years prior to 2008 are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • November 9, 2012. Hurricane Sandy Extension Requests.

    Please click here for questions regarding extensions or other reasonable case-accommodations in light of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.

  • September 28, 2012. Prevailing Wage Update for H-2B.

    The Department, in anticipation of the enactment of H.J.Res 117, which prohibits the Department from expending funds to implement the 2011 H-2B Wage Rule for the duration of that Continuing Resolution, will publish in the Federal Register a Final Rule extending the effective date of the 2011 Wage Rule to March 27, 2013. The Final Rule is posted on the Federal Register's web site September 28, 2012 and it is accessible here.

  • September 26, 2012. FY 2012 Selected Statistics by Program.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted updated program factsheets containing the FY 2012 selected statistics for the Permanent Labor Certification Program, Prevailing Wage Determination Program, H-1B Temporary Visa Program, H-2A Temporary Agricultural Visa Program, and H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Visa Program. The program information included in the factsheets is for the 2012 Fiscal Year to date (September 16, 2012). The updated program factsheets may also be found on OFLC's Performance Data page.

  • July 18, 2012. OFLC Performance Data.

    The OFLC has created a web page from which users can access performance data including Annual Reports, Selected Statistics by Program, and Disclosure Data. To view this page, click here.

  • July 12, 2012.

    The U.S. Department of Labor recently reached an agreement resulting in more than $2.3 million in back wages to temporary foreign agricultural workers. To read this news release, click here.

  • July 9, 2012: ETA-9035 Proposed Amendment.

    The Department published a Notice in the Federal Register today announcing a 60-day comment period on its proposed changes to the form ETA-9035. To read the Notice, please click here. To obtain a copy of the form with proposed changes and the supporting documentation please submit your request to ETA.OFLC.Forms@dol.gov, subject line: Revised Form ETA 9035.

  • June 21, 2012. New Prevailing Wage FAQs.

    The Department of Labor has posted new and revised FAQs for the prevailing wage program. Topics include occupation-specific issues, the documentation of an affiliated or related nonprofit entity, and the issuance of hourly wages. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading Prevailing Wage (PERM, H-2B, H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3).

  • June 20, 2012. Chicago National Processing Center Address Change.

    The Department published today a Notice in the Federal Register announcing an address change for the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC), effective August 2. On and after August 2, 2012, all hard copy filings should be submitted to the new addresses.

    For application filings:
    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employment and Training Administration
    Office of Foreign Labor Certification
    Chicago National Processing Center
    11 West Quincy Court
    Chicago, IL 60604-2105

    P.O. Box Address for the Receipt of H-2A Related Filing Fees:
    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employment and Training Administration
    Office of Foreign Labor Certification
    Chicago National Processing Center
    P.O. Box A3804
    Chicago, IL 60690-A3804.

    To read the Notice please click here.

  • June 12, 2012. FY 2012 Selected Statistics by Program.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted five factsheets containing the FY 2012 selected statistics for the

    The program information included in the factsheets covers the period between October 2011 and May 2012.

  • June 11, 2012:

    The Department of Labor has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the placement of job orders. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Job Order".

  • June 8, 2012.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and LCA program disclosure data files for Quarter 2 of FY 2012 are now available in the Comma-Separated Value (CSV) file format. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • May 29, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and entering fractional year values (1.75, .5, etc) in Section H, Item 8-C of ETA Form 9089. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading Job Requirements/Duties.

  • May 29, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the use of third-party software to upload applications for permanent labor certifications in the OFLC Case Management System. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Filing - How to File."

  • May 23, 2012. H-2A Filing Tips, Selected Statistics and Forms.

    In a continued effort to assist H-2A employers with preparing their agricultural job orders and applications, the Department has revised the H-2A Filing Tips to alert employers to common filing mistakes which can delay the processing of an H-2A application. The H-2A Filing Tips may be found on the H-2A program page under Factsheets and Filing Tips. Also posted on the H-2A program page is a new Factsheet presenting H-2A program selected statistics based on applications submitted during the first two quarters of FY 2012. The Fact Sheet includes information on the H-2A program use, including top filing states, activities and crops. To view or download the Factsheet please click here.

    In addition, the Department has received OMB approval to extend the H-2A forms which were previously set to expire on April 30, 2012. All H-2A applications should be filed using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix A.2 which reflect the new, October 31, 2012, expiration date. To view or download the extended forms, please click here.

  • May 22, 2012. H-2B Ombudsman Program.

    The OFLC is pleased to announce the expansion of the H-2A Ombudsman Program to include the H-2B Program community. The Ombudsman Program is here to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns that arise within the H-2A and H-2B filing communities, by conducting independent and impartial inquiries into issues related to the administration of these programs. We also identify areas in which employers and worker advocate organizations have concerns in dealing with the OFLC and propose internal recommendations designed to continuously improve the quality of services provided by the OFLC. For more information on the H-2B Ombudsman Program click here.

  • May 16, 2012:

    The Department published today a Federal Register Notice advising the regulated community of the injunction placed on the implementation of the H-2B 2012 Final Rule and of procedures to be followed in seeking labor certification to file H-2B petitions. To see the notice, click here.

  • May 15, 2012:

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Temporary Agricultural H-2A Program regarding the Federal tax withholding applicable to H-2A workers. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading H-2A Program and subheading Job Offers, Obligations and Assurances/Rates of Pay.

  • May 14, 2012:

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the consequences of withdrawing an application in Supervised Recruitment. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Supervised Recruitment." Please note that the address in the FAQ for re-filed applications has changed.

  • May 14, 2012. H-2A and H-2B Forms Update:

    The Office of Management and Budget has approved the Department's request to extend the ETA Form 9142, Appendices A.2 and B.1 and associated instructions which were previously set to expire on April 30, 2012. The new expiration date for these forms is October 31, 2012.

    As of the date of this announcement, future H-2A applications should be filed using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix A.2 which reflect the October 31, 2012 expiration date.

    In light of the recent preliminary injunction of the 2012 H-2B Final Rule, employers filing H-2B applications under the 2008 Final Rule must do so using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix B.1 (H-2B only), reflecting the October 31, 2012 expiration date. To view or download the extended forms, please click here.

  • May 7, 2012.

    On April 26, 2012, the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States, Final Rule, 77 FR 10038, Feb. 21, 2012 was preliminarily enjoined by the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division in Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services, et al. v. Hilda L. Solis, et al., 12-cv-00183-RV-CJK, and was never implemented. Therefore, for the present time employers should file their H-2B labor certification applications under the Labor Certification Process and Enforcement for Temporary Employment in Occupations Other Than Agriculture or Registered Nursing in the United States (H-2B Workers), and Other Technical Changes, 73 FR 78020, Dec. 19, 2008. However, please be aware that this preliminary injunction necessarily calls into doubt the underlying authority of the Department of Labor to fulfill its responsibilities under the Immigration and Nationality Act and Department of Homeland Security regulations to issue the labor certifications that are a necessary predicate for the admission of H-2B workers.

  • April 26, 2012. H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 Helpful Resources:

    The Department has posted a contact list for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs to assist employers with their applications. To view or download a PDF copy of the Helpful Resources for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs, please click here.

  • April 3, 2012

    On April 2, 2012 the U. S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, issued a Press Release regarding Earl David's guilty plea. Earl David is the ringleader of a massive immigration fraud scheme extradited from Canada to face charges in Manhattan Federal Court. Click here for the press release.

  • March 28, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the fourth in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics.
    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during FY 2012. Click here. to access this Fact Sheet.

  • March 27, 2012. H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs. To view or download a PDF copy of the FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Temporary Programs heading.

  • March 26, 2012. H-2A Email Notification Program Expanded

    The Chicago National Processing Center has announced that it will be expanding its E-Mail Notification Program to all H-2A stakeholders who elect to participate in the program. In addition, all H-2A employers who elect to participate in the program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, Extensions, and Redeterminations. NOTE: Certifications and partial certifications will continue to be issued to H-2A stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

  • March 26, 2012. Effective April 9, 2012, E-mail Notification Program to include H-2B stakeholders

    The Chicago National Processing Center has announced that it will be expanding its E-Mail Notification Program to all H-2B stakeholders who elect to participate in the program. In addition, all H-2B employers who elect to participate in the program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, Extensions, and Redeterminations. NOTE: Certifications and partial certifications will continue to be issued to H-2B stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

  • March 22, 2012.

    On January 25, 2012 the U. S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, issued a Press Release regarding the extradition of Earl David from Canada. Earl David is the alleged ringleader of a massive immigration fraud scheme extradited from Canada to face charges in Manhattan Federal Court. Click here for the press release.

  • March 20, 2012. Office of Foreign Labor Certification Website Updates.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has established a process by which members of the public may subscribe to receive e-mail alerts whenever the Department posts an announcement updating some aspect of the OFLC website, e.g., program updates, outreach announcements, new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), disclosure data, etc. Read the instructions on how to subscribe to OFLC e-mail alerts here.

  • March 7, 2012. H-2A Federal Register Notices.

    The Department has published Federal Register Notices affecting the H-2A program. The Notice for the 2012 Allowable Charges provides the new meals and travel subsistence reimbursement rates for 2012 and clarifies the reimbursement for transportation. This notice corrected minor errors in a previous publication. This Federal Register notice is available here. Another Notice has recently been published, discussing a non-material change to the Farm Labor Survey used for determining the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, and is available here.

  • March 6, 2012.

    The OFLC has updated its Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics.
    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification applications submitted during FY 2012.

  • March 6, 2012. H-2A Ombudsman Program.

    The OFLC is pleased to announce the establishment of an H-2A Ombudsman Program. The H-2A Ombudsman Program is here to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns that arise within the H-2A filing community, by conducting independent and impartial inquiries into issues related to the administration of the H-2A program. We also identify areas in which agricultural employers and worker advocate organizations have concerns in dealing with the OFLC and propose internal recommendations designed to continuously improve the quality of services provided by the OFLC. For more information on the H-2A Ombudsman Program click here.

  • March 01, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program advising employers of the abbreviations for the following territories, when filing the application electronically: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading Filing-How to File.

  • March 01, 2012.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and LCA program disclosure data files for Quarter 1 of FY 2012 are now available in Microsoft Access. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • February 29, 2012.

    To assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a sixth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing clarifications on several H-2A issues raised recently. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

  • February 29, 2012.

    To assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a fifth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing clarifications on several H-2A issues raised recently, including the transportation requirement. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

  • February 29, 2012.

    H-2A Handbook Revised: To continue to assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has revised its Employer Guide for Participating in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program. This guide summarizes and explains key regulatory requirements for a U.S. employer to participate in the H-2A Program, including what documents to file, important timeframes and deadlines, helpful filing tips, and how to contact the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center for further assistance. Please click here to obtain a copy of the new employer guide or go directly to the H-2A Program webpage.

  • February 16, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the third in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during FY 2012. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

  • February 10, 2012.

    Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States. The Department has placed on the table for publication in the Federal Register a Final Rule amending the regulations governing the labor certification process for the temporary employment of H-2B foreign workers in the United States, codified at 20 CFR part 655, and enforcement of employer obligations under the H-2B program, codified at 29 CFR Part 503. The new regulations will be published in the Federal Register on February 21, 2012, and will go into effect on April 23, 2012. To read the full text of the Final Rule, please click here.

  • February 6, 2012.

    Enhancements to H-2A E-mail Notifications.

    The Chicago National Processing Center has implemented enhancements to its 10-State E-Mail Notification Pilot Program for the H-2A Program. Effective February 6, 2012, H-2A employers who file H-2A applications in CT, MA, ME, VT, NY, ID, KY, LA, ND, and TX and who have elected to participate in the e-mail notification pilot program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, and Extensions. These hard copy notifications will be eliminated as enhancements to the e-mail notification pilot program. NOTE: Certifications and Partial Certifications will continue to be sent to H-2A stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

  • January 31, 2012.

    The iCERT System will be unavailable from 8AM to approximately 1PM Eastern Time on Monday, February 6, 2012 so that we may implement enhancements to the iCERT Prevailing Wage Module. For a summary of the enhancements, please click here. In addition, you may refer to the updated Prevailing Wage External User Guide which is available under the User Guides tab on the iCERT Visa Portal System.

  • January 18, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the second in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during the first quarter of FY 2012. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

Calendar Year 2011
Top
  • December 30, 2011.

    Additional Prevailing Wage Update for H-2B

    On December 23, 2011, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012.  The legislation contains language prohibiting the Department from implementing the Wage Rule during the 2012 fiscal year.  Based on Congressional intent to continue to implement the current H-2B regulations, the Department has published a Final Rule extending the effective date of the Wage Rule to apply to work performed on and after October 1, 2012. The Final Rule is accessible here.

    In light of this postponement, the Department has also published a Federal Register Notice providing guidance regarding wage determinations previously issued under the H-2B Wage Rule. The guidance provided through the Federal Register Notice can be accessed here.

    Please submit questions regarding the H-2B Wage Rule to the following e-mail box (established by the Department specifically for this purpose) H2Bwagerule@dol.gov

  • December 22, 2011.

    H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs)

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register that announces the new Adverse Effect Wage Rates by State (AEWR Notice). Please note that unlike in prior years, this notice contains only the new AEWRs. The Department will publish a subsequent Federal Register Notice to announce the new Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals, and Maximum Travel Subsistence Reimbursement for use in the H-2A program. To read the new AEWR Notice, please click here.

  • December 21, 2011

    The 2012 Adverse Effects Wage Rates are now available. Click here to view them.

  • December 20, 2011

    Chicago NPC UPS Holiday Delivery Notice

    United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that they will not be providing delivery or pick-up services on Friday, December 23, 2011. The public is encouraged to submit their correspondence timely to the Chicago National Processing Center, being mindful of the holiday schedule if using UPS. The Chicago National Processing Center will endeavor to ensure all H-2A and H-2B deadlines for December 23 and 26, 2011 will be met by December 22, 2011.

  • December 19, 2011

    The OFLC Program Debarments List has been updated. Click here to view this list.

  • December 12, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a new Employer Guide for Participating in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program. This guide summarizes and explains key regulatory requirements for a U.S. employer to participate in the H-2A Program, including what documents to file, important timeframes and deadlines, helpful filing tips, and how to contact the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center for further assistance. Please click here to obtain a copy of the new employer guide or go directly to the H-2A Program webpage.

  • December 6, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a fourth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) providing clarifications on background check, contract impossibility, and surety bond requirements for H-2A Labor Contractors. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

  • November 23, 2011.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has created a page from which you can access the OFLC 2010 Annual Report and offer comments. Please click here to access this page.

  • November 21, 2011.

    United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that they will not be providing delivery or pick-up services on Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) and Friday, November 25, 2011. The public is encouraged to submit their correspondence timely to the Chicago National Processing Center, being mindful of the holiday schedule if using UPS. The Chicago National Processing Center will endeavor to ensure all H-2A and H-2B deadlines for November 24th and 25th will be met by November 23, 2011.

  • November 17, 2011.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is providing this update to the public on issuing prevailing wage determinations.

    PERM: Became current the week of October 23, 2011
    H-1B: Became current the week of November 6, 2011
    H-2B: Anticipated becoming current the week of November 27, 2011

    "Current" carries a different meaning in each program. A prevailing wage determination is "current" in the PERM and H-1B programs when it is issued within 60 days of submission. For H-2B prevailing wage determinations, "current" is within 30 days of submission in accordance with the program's regulations. These dates may be subject to change based on actions not anticipated by the Department at this time, such as any additional judicial determinations or legislative actions. PWD appeals (redeterminations and Center Director Reviews) are being processed as resources allow, with priority placed on becoming current on initial PWD requests in each of the respective program areas.

  • November 7, 2011.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and listing job requirements not normal to the occupation on both the ETA Form 9141 Prevailing Wage Request and ETA Form 9089. This FAQ, which replaces the previous notice that had references to the State Workforce Agency (SWA), is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading PERM Program and subheading Job Requirements/Duties.

  • October 24, 2011

    The Department of Labor is working to incorporate new and/or revised Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes into the Permanent (PERM) Program online application system. Until the new codes are fully integrated, filers may experience situations where the new and/or revised, SOC codes are not available in the PERM online application system. Until such time as the new codes are incorporated, the Atlanta National Processing Center (ANPC) will accept the older SOC codes even though they may not match the code indicated on the Prevailing Wage Determination. Filers may also consider placing the new SOC job title in section H.3, and the new SOC code in section H.14 of the ETA Form 9089.

  • October 24, 2011. Prevailing Wage Determinations - Update

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is providing this update to the public on its plans for becoming current on issuing prevailing wage determinations:

    PERM: Week of October 23, 2011
    H-1B: Week of November 6, 2011
    H-2B: Week of December 18, 2011

    "Current" carries a different meaning in each program. A prevailing wage determination is "current" in the PERM and H-1B programs when it is issued within 60 days of submission. For H-2B prevailing wage determinations, "current" is within 30 days of submission in accordance with the program's regulations. These dates may be subject to change based on actions not anticipated by the Department at this time such as any additional judicial determinations. The PWD appeals are being processed as resources allow with priority being placed on becoming current on initial PWD requests in each of the respective program areas.

  • October 21, 2011

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has redesigned its H-2A program website to make it more user-friendly. The new design combines many useful links and features into a single portal. You can view this newly redesigned site by clicking here.

  • October 12, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has established a dedicated webpage providing available information on prevailing employment practices as well as acceptable experience requirements for agricultural jobs. This information is collected through the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and used by the OFLC's Chicago National Processing Center staff in reviewing employer job requirements under the H-2A program to ensure no adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

    Please click here to access the Agricultural Employment Practice Survey Library on the OFLC website.

  • October 12, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has established a dedicated webpage providing available information on prevailing employment practices as well as acceptable experience requirements for agricultural jobs. This information is collected through the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and used by the OFLC's Chicago National Processing Center staff in reviewing employer job requirements under the H-2A program to ensure no adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

    Please click here to access the Agricultural Employment Practice Survey Library on the OFLC website.

  • October 7, 2011

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and obtaining prevailing wage determinations for college and university teachers from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) and not the State Workforce Agency (SWA).  This FAQ, which replaces the previous notice, is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading College and University Teachers-Recruitment.

  • September 30, 2011

    In light of the Department's recent decision to postpone the effective date of the Wage Rule until November 30, 2011, we have published this subsequent Federal Register Notice to provide guidance to those employers who received supplemental prevailing wage determination that have now been delayed.  The notice confirms that employers who received a supplemental H-2B prevailing wage determination in anticipation of the September 30, 2011 effective date are not required to pay, and the Department's Wage and Hour Division will not enforce, the wage provided in those supplemental prevailing wage determinations for work performed through November 29, 2011.  To read the text of the Notice, please click here. 

  • September 28, 2011

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent Program and the use of an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment under
    20 CFR § 656.18. This FAQ, which replaces the recently posted FAQ permitting the use of an electronic journal, which contained a requirement that has been removed, is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading College and University Teachers-Recruitment.

  • September 27, 2011

    The OFLC's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) has reissued wage determinations on more than 3,400 previously certified H-2B applications to comply with the June 15, 2011 order of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas v. Solis.  OFLC continues to work expeditiously to process pending determination requests for new H-2B, H-1B and PERM prevailing wages. 

    On September 26, 2011, the District Court for the Northern District of Florida in the action Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services et al v. Solis, 3:11-cv-00445-MCR-EMT, issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit the Department from implementing the Wage Final Rule and to require the Department to issue prevailing wages in the H-2B program in accordance with the methodology of the 2008 H-2B rule. The Department will comply with the terms of the Court's order, which is in effect for 14 days.

    The Department has announced a 60-day postponement of the effective date for the final rule concerning the wage methodology for the H-2B program; please see here for the FRN.  Further guidance and advice with respect to actions regarding H-2B prevailing wages will be posted on this Web site and in the Federal Register.

  • September 23, 2011

    US Labor Department postpones revising wage calculations for H-2B program. Delay avoids administering the H-2B program under potentially conflicting court orders. Press release available here.

  • September 9, 2011, H-2A FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist employers and others with the H-2A program. The FAQs discuss H-2A application amendments, post-certification changes to the end date of work, and post-certification notification to the Department regarding workers who have abandoned or have been terminated from positions. The FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

  • September 9, 2011. H-2A Employer Filing Tips:

    The Department has posted H-2A Employer Filing Tips to assist employers with the H-2A program. Based on 16 months of processing experience at the Chicago National Processing Center, the filing tips are reminders to employers of common mistakes that may result in processing delays. The H-2A Employer Filing Tips are available here and on the H-2A program page under Additional Resources.

  • September 8, 2011
    The Department has updated a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent Program and counting recruitment timelines and time periods as outlined by the regulation. This FAQ, which replaces the previous notice, is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading Time Frame.
  • August 31, 2011

    The Department has replaced a PERM program Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the use of an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment for College and University Teachers as specified under 20 CFR 656.18. The FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading College and University Teachers - Recruitment.

  • August 31, 2011

    OFLC has updated its data disclosure links. Data Disclosure will now navigate the user to OFLC's current quarterly and FY data. FLC Data Center (under Info. & Resources) will navigate the user to the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center.

  • August 31, 2011. H-2B Prevailing Wage FAQ:

    The Department has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to assist employers and others in understanding how the Service Contract Act (SCA) wages are used by the OFLC in issuing H-2B prevailing wage determinations. The FAQs is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Prevailing Wage heading, H2B Prevailing Wages sub-heading.

  • August 31, 2011

    The Department has replaced a PERM program Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the use of an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment for college and university Teachers as specified under 20 CFR 656.18. The FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading College and University Teachers-Recruitment.

  • August 23, 2011. H-2A FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2A program. The FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

  • August 22, 2011.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 3 of FY 2011 are now available in Microsoft Access. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • August 15, 2011.

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the Prevailing Wages in the H-2B program, specifically the issuance of supplemental prevailing wages in accordance with the June 15, 2011 order of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Prevailing Wages Heading (under the subheading of H-2B Prevailing Wages).

  • August 9, 2011: USCIS Notice - Certain Fees May Not Be Collected From H-2A and H-2B Workers

    As the traditional harvest season approaches, USCIS reminds petitioners that certain fees may not be collected from H-2A and H-2B workers, according to 8 C.F.R. §214.2(h)(5)(xi)(A) and §214.2(h)(6)(i)(B).
    We realize that delays in adjudicating these petitions may affect employers' ability to place workers in time-sensitive jobs. To avoid delays, USCIS urges petitioners to submit sufficient information regarding their recruitment efforts and the nature of fees collected from H-2A and H-2B workers. Read more.

  • August 4, 2011. New H-2A Special Procedures for Beekeepers. 

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the establishment of special procedures for beekeeping employers. The special procedures have been established through Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 33-10:  Special Procedures: Labor Certification Process for Itinerant Commercial Beekeeping Employers in the H-2A Program and is effective for applications with a date of need beginning October 1, 2011. 

    To read the Federal Register notice regarding Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 33-10; Special Procedures: Labor Certification Process for Itinerant Commercial Beekeeping Employers in the H-2A Program, 47241-47243 [2011-19751], please click [TEXT]  [PDF]. The TEGL is available under the ETA Advisories here.

  • August 4, 2011. Revised H-2A Special Procedures for Multi-State Custom Combiners.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the revision of special procedures for multi-state custom combine owners and/or operators. The special procedures have been revised through the Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 16-06, Change 1, Special Procedures:  Labor Certification Process for Multi-State Custom Combine Owners/Operators under the H-2A Program and is effective for applications with a start date of need of October 1, 2011.

    To read the Federal Register notice regarding Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 16-06, Change 1, Special Procedures:  Labor Certification Process for Multi-State Custom Combine Owners/Operators under the H-2A Program, 47248-47251 [2011-19752]  please click here [TEXT]  [PDF]. This TEGL is available under the ETA Advisories here.

  • August 4, 2011. Revised H-2A Special Procedures for the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the revision of special procedures for the itinerant animal shearing industry. The special procedures have been revised through the Training and Employment Guidance (TEGL) Letter No. 17-06, Change. 1, Special Procedures:  Labor Certification Process for Employers in the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry under the H-2A Program and is effective for applications with a date of need beginning October 1, 2011. 

    To read the Federal Register notice regarding Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 17-06, Change 1, Special Procedures:  Labor Certification Process for Employers in the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry under the H-2A Program, 47251-47256 [2011-19753], please click [TEXT]  [PDF]. This TEGL is available under the ETA Advisories here.

  • August 4, 2011. Revised H-2A Special Procedures for Open Range Production of Livestock Occupations.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the revision of special procedures for the occupations involved in the open range production of livestock. The special procedures have been revised through the Training and Employment Guidance (TEGL) Letter No. 15-06, Change 1, Special Procedures:  Labor Certification Process for Occupations Involved in the Open Range Production of Livestock under the H-2A Program and is effective for applications with a start date of need of October 1, 2011.  

    To read the Federal Register notice regarding Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 15-06, Change 1, Special Procedures: Labor Certification Process for Occupations Involved in the Open Range Production of Livestock under the H-2A Program, 47243-47248 [2011-19754] , please click [TEXT]  [PDF]. This TEGL is available under the ETA Advisories here.

  • August 4, 2011.Revised H-2A Special Procedures for Sheepherders and Goatherders.  

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the revision of special procedures for employers engaged in sheepherding and goatherding occupations. The special procedures have been revised through theTraining and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 32-10:  Special Procedures: Labor Certification Process for Employers Engaged in Sheepherding and Goatherding Occupations under the H-2A Program and is effective for applications with a date of need beginning October 1, 2011. 

    To reach the Federal Register notice regarding Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 32-10; Special Procedures: Labor Certification Process for Employers Engaged in Sheepherding and Goatherding Occupations under the H-2A Program,  47256-47262 [2011-19755], please click [TEXT]  [PDF]. This TEGL is available under ETA Advisories here.

  • August 1, 2011. H-2B Program: Wage Methodology Final Rule.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a Final Rule to amend the effective date of the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule makes the change in the methodology effective for all work performed on or after September 30, 2011. To read or download the Final Rule please click here.

  • July 26, 2011. The Department has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2B program.

    The FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2B Heading (under the subheading of Job Contractors).

  • July 22, 2011. OFLC is pleased to present the first in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics.

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during the first six months of FY 2011. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

  • July 22, 2011. H-2A FAQ.

    The Department has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2A program. The FAQ is available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

  • July 19, 2011. New Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010

    In January 2010 the BLS Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) was updated. This year the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) began issuing prevailing wages using the new SOC occupations and a few transitional occupations. The OFLC iCERT system and FLC Data Center incorporated this data as of July 5, 2011. To read the full text, please click here.

  • May 5, 2011.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 2 of FY 2011 are now available in Microsoft Access. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • April 14, 2011. Procedure for Department of Labor Notification of Worker Abandonment or Termination for Cause for H-2A Temporary Labor Certifications.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice outlining procedures for notifying the Department that an H-2A worker certified on an Application for Temporary Employment Certification or a worker in corresponding employment has voluntarily abandoned employment, or was terminated for cause.  Read the text of the notice here.

  • April 14, 2011. Application of the Prevailing Wage Methodology in the H-2B Program; Amendment of Appendix B.1

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing an amendment to the Appendix B.1 of the ETA Form 9142, Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The amendment reflects an employer's obligation to pay a prevailing wage determined under the new prevailing wage methodology promulgated by the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program Final Rule, which published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2011, and applies to wages paid for work performed on or after January 1, 2012. As of the date of this notice, all employers utilizing the H-2B program must submit the new Appendix B.1 with their applications. Read the text of the notice here.

  • April 5, 2011. H-2B FAQs: Job Contractors Filing Requirements.

    The Department has posted new "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) to assist job contractor employers and their clients with applying for H-2B labor certifications following the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decision in CATA v. Solis, et al., Civil No. 2:09-cv-240-LP, 2010 WL 3431761 (2010). The new H-2B FAQs are available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2B heading. The FAQs are dated and posted under the Job Contractors subheading.

  • April 5, 2011.  Frequently Asked Question on Requesting an Extension from Atlanta National Processing Center when documentation can not be timely submitted

    The Department has posted today in the FAQs section of the OFLC website a new FAQ addressing how an employer can request an extension from Atlanta National Processing Center when documentation can not be timely submitted. Requests should be submitted in writing by either e-mail or mail to the Certifying Officer providing a legitimate reason for the request. To read the FAQ, please click here or it can be found under the Requests for Extension section.


  • March 18, 2011.  Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    The Department has published today in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States (H-2B program).  The NPRM proposes to amend the H-2B regulations at 20 CFR Part 655, Subpart A which govern the process by which employers apply for a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor (Department) to be able to hire foreign workers in H-2B status.  The Department is accepting comments on the proposed rulemaking until May 17, 2011.  To read the full text of the NPRM and learn how to submit comments, please click here.  To read a fact sheet from the Department regarding the NPRM, please click here.


  • March 15, 2011, Prevailing Wage FAQs: The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist employers and others regarding prevailing wage requests and determinations. The FAQs are available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Prevailing Wage heading. The FAQs are organized by subject subheadings and each FAQ includes the relevant posting date.

  • February 28, 2011. H-2A 2011 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs)
    The Department has placed on the table today a notice which will be published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2011 that announces the 2011 Adverse Effect Wage Rates, Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals, and Maximum Travel Subsistence Reimbursement for use in the H-2A program. This notice provides (1) the 2011 AEWRs for employers seeking H-2A workers; (2) the allowable maximum amount for 2011 that employers may charge their H-2A workers for providing them with three meals a day; and (3) the maximum travel subsistence reimbursement which a worker with receipts may claim in 2011. To see the Notice, click here.

  • February 17, 2011. H-1B,  H-1B1, E-3 Round 1 FAQs: The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs. To view or download a PDF copy of the FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Temporary Programs heading.

  • February 14, 2011.  OFLC Case Disclosure Data. In an effort to push more and better data out to the public, the OFLC is now making available quarterly disclosure files covering employer applications processed under the PERM, H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visa programs. Additionally, the OFLC is publishing a new set of case level data covering employer requests for prevailing wage determinations processed by the OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center, which opened in January 2010 in Washington, DC. Historical data files cumulated on a Federal Fiscal Year reporting cycle will continue to be available in easily accessible formats for the purpose of performing more in-depth longitudinal research and analysis. Click here to access the latest OFLC public disclosure data.

  • February 11, 2011: Professional Recruitment Occupations. Appendix A to the Preamble Professional Recruitment Occupations has been posted to the Forms & Instructions section of the Permanent Labor Certification portion of the website. Click here to see this Appendix.

  • February 7, 2011: Email Address to Submit Comments. On January 19, 2011, The Department published a Final Rule with a request for comments on specific issues (76 FR 3452), which are identified in the Final Rule. The Department has established an email address for the convenience of those who wish to submit comments through this mechanism. Comments may be submitted to the email address at H-2BWageFinalRule@dol.gov. Comments may also be submitted as indicated in the Final Rule to William L. Carlson, Ph.D., Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 20210. All comments must be submitted by March 21, 2011. To see a copy of the Final Rule, please click here.

  • January 19, 2011.  H-2B Program:  Wage Methodology Final Rule.  The Department has published in the Federal Register a Final Rule on the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule revises the methodology by which the Department calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with a temporary labor certification. The Final Rule is effective for wages paid for all work performed on or after January 1, 2012.  To read or download the Final Rule please click here.

  • January 18, 2011.  H-2B Program:  Wage Methodology Final Rule.  The Department has placed on the table to be published in the Federal Register a Final Rule on the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule revises the methodology by which the Department calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with a temporary labor certification. The Final Rule is effective for wages paid for all work performed on or after January 1, 2012


  • Calendar Year 2010
    Top
  • December 21, 2010
    The Department has posted new PERM Frequently Asked Questions addressing "business days" requirements.  To view the Updated PERM FAQs, please click here.

  • December 1, 2010
    The FY 2010 disclosure files are now available in Microsoft Access for the PERM, H-2A, H-2B, and H-1B programs.  Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding file structures.  OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

  • November 9, 2010: The Permanent Labor Certification Debarment List has been updated. To view this list, click here.

  • October 29, 2010. DOL is Extending the Comment Period for the H-2B Rulemaking: The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice extending the comment period on a recently published proposed rule - Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program, 75 FR 61578 (October 5, 2010). In an order dated October 27, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA) v. Solis, et al., Civil No. 2:09-cv-240-LP, 2010 WL 3431761 (E.D. Pa.) extended the deadline by which the Department must promulgate the final rule until January 18, 2011. In order to provide the public with additional time to comment on the NPRM and to ensure that the Department has adequate time to review and address the comments, the Department has extended the public comment period through November 12, 2010. To read the text of the proposed rule and to learn how to submit comments, please click here.

  • October 27, 2010. The Department has released The Foreign Labor Certification Report: 2009 Data, Trends and Highlights Across Programs and States (2009 Annual Report). The 2009 Annual Report presents employment-based immigration program data drawn from applications submitted to the Department by employers across the country. To read or download a copy of the 2009 Annual Report, please click here.

  • October 13, 2010. H-2B Regulation Mailbox Temporarily Suspended: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has temporarily suspended its H-2B.Regulation@dol.gov mailbox. The H-2B Regulation mailbox was temporarily suspended to avoid inadvertent and/or incorrect submission of comments on the recently published Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The NPRM includes instructions on how to appropriately submit public comments on the proposed rulemaking. To read the text of the NPRM and learn how to submit comments, please click here.

  • October 12, 2010. PERM ROUND 12 FAQs: The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing employer point of contact requirements. To view or download a PDF copy of the PERM Round 12 FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the PERM Program heading and the Filing - How to File subheading.

  • October 5, 2010. H-2B Prevailing Wage NPRM: The Department has published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The NPRM proposes to revise the methodology by which the Department calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with a temporary labor certification. The Department is accepting comments on the proposed rulemaking until Thursday, November 4, 2010. To read the text of the NPRM and learn how to submit comments, please click here.

    Read the news release here.

  • October 1, 2010. H-2A FAQs: Clarification of the Fifty Percent Rule. The Department has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) interpreting the 2010 Final Rule requirement under 20 CFR § 655.135(d), that the employer hire any able, willing, qualified and available U.S. worker who applies for the employer's job opportunity before the end of the first 50 percent of the contract period, i.e. the 50 percent rule. To view or download a PDF copy of the FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A Temporary Labor Certification Program (Agricultural) heading, and the Job Offers, Assurances and Obligations subheading.

  • September 30, 2010.  Prevailing Wage:  Validity Period for H-2B prevailing wage determinations.  On August 30, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Comitè de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA) v. Solis, et al., Civil No. 2:09-cv-240-LP, 2010 WL 3431761 (E.D. Pa.) invalidated the Department's use of skill levels in establishing prevailing wages and the Department's reliance upon Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data in lieu of Davis Bacon Act and Service Contract Act rates.  The court order requires the Department to complete a new rulemaking regarding the calculation of prevailing wage rates in the H-2B program within 120 days.

    The Department has been issuing prevailing wage determinations with a validity period ending on June 30, 2011, since the OES data is updated annually each June.  Given that the Department has been ordered to promulgate a new regulation in approximately 3 months, which may result in changes to the calculation of the prevailing wage rates, the Department, beginning on September 30, 2010, will issue H-2B prevailing wage determinations with validity periods of three months, in accordance with § 655.10(d).  This change does not affect the validity periods of existing prevailing wage determinations.  It also does not affect any new requests for prevailing wage determinations that will be used in connection with PERM, H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 applications.

  • September 17, 2010. The National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWHC) has changed its name to the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC). Contact information for the NPWC will remain the same except for the name change, as provided below:

    U.S. Department of Labor-ETA
    National Prevailing Wage Center
    1341 G Street, NW
    Suite 201
    Washington, DC 20005-3105

    Please continue to direct questions related to prevailing wage determinations or the prevailing wage determination process to FLC.PWD@dol.gov.

    Important Note: The Chicago National Processing Center (temporary foreign labor certification programs) and the Atlanta National Processing Center (permanent foreign labor certification program) will continue to provide assistance with program-related inquiries.

  • September 15, 2010. H-2A FAQs Round 2: The Department has posted the second round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) interpreting the 2010 Final Rule which became effective on March 15, 2010. The FAQs address questions posed by the regulated community and cover a range of topics including: pre and post-filing requirements, job offers, assurances and obligations, time frames, recruitment, etc. To view or download a PDF copy of the Round 2 H-2A FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A Temporary Labor Certification Program (Agricultural) heading and relevant subject subheadings.

  • August 3, 2010. PERM ROUND 11 FAQs: The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing filing and documentation requirements in response to questions received from the regulated community. To view or download a PDF copy of the PERM Round 11 FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the PERM Program heading and relevant subject subheadings.

  • July 1, 2010: In accordance with the H-2A 2010 Final Rule (in effect as of March 15, 2010), the Department has published in the Federal Register a Notice announcing the release of a new web-based tool, the H-2A Public Job Registry. The H-2A Public Job Registry will be fully integrated into the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's iCERT Visa Portal System (http://icert.doleta.gov), and will provide the public with access to both active and archived H-2A agricultural job orders submitted under the 2010 Final Rule. The H-2A Public Job Registry is part of the Department's Employment and Training Administration's Open Government Initiative and will be accessible to the public on July 8, 2010. To learn more about the H-2A Public Job Registry, please click here. To read the Federal Register Notice, please click here.

  • May 17, 2010, LCA Policy Mailbox Now Available:
    The Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has established a mailbox for questions regarding LCA policies.  Those seeking policy guidance should submit a question to LCA.Regulation@dol.gov. Questions will be answered in the form of FAQs. The interested public should continue to direct all general inquiries regarding the H-1B program to the Chicago National Processing Center at LCA.Chicago@dol.gov. For iCERT technical issues, questions should continue to be submitted to OFLC.Portal@dol.gov

  • March 29, 2010, H-2A 2010 Final Rule FAQs: The Department has posted the first round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing the H-2A program under the new regulations, which took effect March 15, 2010. To see the FAQs click here.

  • March 24 Prevailing Wage FAQs: OFLC has issued updated prevailing wage FAQs to assist employers and others. These FAQs replace those issued in December 2009 by updating certain information. To see the FAQs click here.

  • March 19, 2010 H-2A Webinar Briefing: The Department will publish in the Federal Register on March 23, 2010, a Notice announcing a webinar briefing to educate stakeholders and other interested members of the public on the application process for H-2A temporary labor certifications using the ETA Form 9142, under the 2010 Final Rule, in effect as of March 15, 2010. The webinar briefing is scheduled for March 25, 2010, from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight time. To read the full text of the Notice, please click here

  • March 15, 2010: To support implementation of the new H-2A regulations and current H-2B regulations, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification is making available the ETA Form 9142 - Application for Temporary Employment Certification in a fillable Adobe Acrobat PDF format to provide users with the option to save and reuse the information on the form for future applications. To access the fillable form, please click here.
  • March 12, 2010: The Department published in the Federal Register a Notice announcing a technical change to the filing location address for the prevailing wage determination requests in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and Permanent Labor Certification Programs, as well as the prevailing wage determination requests for the use in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To read the full text of the Notice, please click here.

  • March 5, 2010 H-2A Regulations Mailbox Open for Inquiries: After the publication of the H-2A Final Rule addressing the Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States, the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has reopened its H-2A Regulations mailbox for public inquiries. The interested public should direct all general inquiries regarding the H-2A program to the H-2A.Regulations@dol.gov mailbox. However, any case specific inquiries should be directed to the Chicago National Processing Center mailbox at TLC.Chicago@dol.gov.
  • March 2, 2010: H-2A Briefing Materials
    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification and the Wage and Hour Division have conducted 3 public briefings to advise stakeholders of the contents of the new H-2A Final Rule, which will be effective March 15, 2010. For the materials used in the briefings, click here.

  • February 22, 2010: Public disclosure data files for FY 2009 are now available on the Department's Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website. To access the data files, visit the FLC Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com

  • February 18, 2010 Dallas Briefing: Change of Venue OFLC is holding H-2A briefings in several cities over the next two weeks. The venue in Dallas, Texas has changed for February 25, 2010 and will be the Dallas Fairmont. For registration and complete information, please click here.
  • February 18, 2010: The Department has published in the Federal Register a Notice announcing the 2010 Adverse Effect Wage Rates, the allowable charges for meals, as well as maximum travel subsistence reimbursement amounts applicable to the H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification program. To read the full text of the Notice please click here.
  • February 16, 2010: Notice Announcing H-2A Stakeholder Briefings in San Diego, Dallas and Raleigh: The Department has submitted to the Federal Register a Notice announcing that it will hold public stakeholder briefing sessions in late February and early March in San Diego, Dallas and Raleigh. The briefings will address changes to the H-2A temporary worker program in the Final Rule published on February 12, 2010. To read the full text of the Notice, please click here.
  • February 12, 2010:
    Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States. The Department has published in the Federal Register a Final Rule amending the regulations governing the labor certification process for the temporary agricultural employment of H-2A aliens in the United States, codified at 20 CFR part 655, and enforcement of employer obligations under the H-2A program, codified at 29 CFR Part 501. The new regulations will go into effect on March 15, 2010. Beginning on that date, all program users will be required to file their applications under the new regulations and to comply with all applicable program requirements. To read the full text of the Final Rule, please click each of the following links. To read a Fact Sheet on the Final Rule, please click here.
  • January 14, 2010: The iCERT System will be unavailable starting on Wednesday, January 20th at approximately 6:00 AM EST and will not be available until Thursday January 21st at 6:00 AM EST. Scheduled system maintenance and upgrades will be performed during this time. We will be adding new features to the application in order to better serve your needs.
  • Key features in the new release include:

    • The ability for users to file OMB Form 9141 electronically to request a Prevailing Wage determination from the National Processing Center. Users will be able to perform similar actions to submit and manage their 9141 applications as they currently are able to do for their LCA Form 9035 applications:
      • Start a new application and submit online electronically
      • Save an application in-progress and return at a later time to finish data entry
      • Withdraw a submitted application
      • Reuse the information on a current application to create a new case
      • Delete un-submitted (Initiated) cases
      • Request a Redetermination Review for cases with determinations
      • The ability for users to further manage their accounts and sub-accounts and grant or withdraw permission to access the Prevailing Wage feature
      • Readily available Printable Forms and their Instructions from within the application
      • A new Case Summary screen (upon logging into iCERT) that will allow users to easily see the status of their last 10 cases submitted and quickly see the last 10 cases that had a decision enacted
      Please review the Prevailing Wage Quick Start Guide to set up your account properly to submit Form 9141 applications.

      Please contact the OFLC help desk at oflc.portal@dol.gov for further information on the outage.  For specific questions on your application, application status, or other questions that do not pertain to the outage, please contact the OFLC National Processing Center at lca.chicago@dol.gov for H-1B assistance or the OFLC National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center at flc.pwd@dol.gov for Prevailing Wage assistance.

      Thank you for your understanding in this regard as we improve our website to better serve your needs.

    • January 4, 2010: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center is open and is currently accepting for processing Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) requests for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-2B, E-3 (Australia) and the permanent labor certification programs, as well as PWD requests for use in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  The Department has posted on the OFLC website Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address the filing and processing of PWD requests.  

      The Department has also updated and posted on the OFLC website the Prevailing Wage Determination Policy Guidance for use in the Nonagricultural Immigration Programs.  To read the updated Prevailing Wage guidance, please click here.
    Calendar Year 2009
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    • December 4, 2009: The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice informing the regulated community that as of January 1, 2010, OFLC’s National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center in Washington, DC, will receive and process prevailing wage determination requests for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and permanent labor certification programs. The Notice also provides guidance about the issuance of prevailing wage determinations for use in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To read the full text of the Notice click here.
    • December 4, 2009: The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a change in the location of the Chicago National Processing Center, where applications for temporary labor certification programs are filed. To read the full text of the Notice, click here.

    • December 1, 2009 PERM Appeals FAQs: The Department has posted FAQs explaining best practices for filing an appeal request with the National Processing Center. To read the FAQs, please click here.

    • December 1, 2009 PERM Change of Address FAQs: The Department has posted FAQs explaining how one should notify the Atlanta National Processing Center of a change of address, change of legal representation, and other related actions. To read the FAQs, please click here.

    • November 30, 2009 CNMI Prevailing Wage Determinations: On November 28, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 applied the immigration and Nationality Act to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), The Department will administer certain immigration programs on CNMI. The Department has published FAQs to assist CNMI employers with obtaining prevailing wages. To see these FAQs, click here.

    • November 12, 2009 Extension of the H-2A Transition Period Procedures: The Department has sent to the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule (IFR) extending the transition period application filing procedures implemented under the December 2008 H-2A Final Rule. The application filing procedures under the extended transition period apply to all employers with dates of need before June 1, 2010. To read the IFR please click here. Persons interested in submitting comments may do so in the manner indicated in the IFR up to 30 days after publication.

    • October 19, 2009 LCA Help Desk: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has created a Labor Condition Application (LCA) Help Desk based at the Chicago National Processing Center. The LCA Help Desk Specialists will provide customer service support by responding to form inquiries and requests for assistance with the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 programs. The Help Desk may be reached via email at LCA.Chicago@dol.gov or via telephone at (312) 353-8100 from 8:30AM to 5:30PM Central Time. Send all technical or computer- related questions concerning the iCERT System via email to OFLC.Portal@dol.gov. For the LCA Help Desk Fact Sheet click here.

    • October 19, 2009 The Expiration of the H-1C Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Reauthorization Act of 2005: Effective December 21, 2009, the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Reauthorization Act will sunset. The Nursing Relief for Disadvantage Areas Act (NRDAA) established the H-1C Program in 1999 to reduce the shortage of qualified nurses in health professional shortage areas. The Program was reauthorized until December 20, 2009 under the Nursing Relief for Disadvantage Areas Reauthorization Act of 2005 which became effective in December 20, 2006.

      Under the H-1C Program, eligible hospitals filed attestations with the Department of Labor’s, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to support nonimmigrant worker petitions filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Absent further legislative action, Congress has not elected to reinstate the H-1C Program and will no longer accept H-1C Attestations on Form ETA 9081 for foreign nurse positions effective December 21, 2009. The hospitals utilizing the H-1C Program may continue to file applications with the Department of Labor through its other programs including the H-1B Program and the PERM Program, as appropriate. Please address questions regarding the H-1C Program to TLC.Chicago@dol.gov.

    • October 2, 2009 DOL Extends Comment Period For H-2A Rulemaking: The Employment and Training Administration and the Employment Standards Administration recently issued a proposed rule regarding the application process for and enforcement of temporary alien agricultural (H-2A) labor certifications. 74 FR 45906 (Sept. 4, 2009). Today the agencies published a Notice to extend the comment period through October 20, 2009. To read this notice, click here.

    • September 9, 2009 LCA FAQs: The Department has posted FAQs concerning the iCERT system and LCAs, including information regarding FEINs. To read the FAQs please click here.

    • September 4, 2009 H-2A NPRM: The Department has published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States. The Department is accepting comments on the proposed rulemaking until October 5, 2009. To read the full text of the NPRM and to find out about the submission of comments, please click here.

    • September 3, 2009 DOL Publishes Technical Correction of H-1B Prevailing Wage Regulation: The Department has published a technical correction of 20 CFR 655.731, returning a provision that was inadvertently dropped as a result of editing the regulation to allow for federalizing of H-1B prevailing wage requests, which was done in the H-2B Final Rule in December 2008. This correction is applicable as of January 18, 2009, the effective date of that Final Rule. For a copy of the correction, click here.
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    • August 28, 2009 The Department has published TEGL 11-07, Change 2 to rescind TEGL 11-07, Change 1 - Clarification of Certain Procedures for Processing H-2A Labor Certification Applications. The rescission of TEGL 11-07, Change 1 was needed to eliminate redundancy and prevent confusion on the part of the NPCs and the SWAs on the procedures related to the H-2A program. The rescission is effective immediately. To read the full text of TEGL 11-07, Change 2 please click here.

    • August 21, 2009 Notice Announcing H-2B Stakeholder Briefings in Boston and Chicago: The Department has published in the Federal Register a Notice announcing that it will hold public stakeholder briefing sessions in September in Boston and Chicago. The briefings will address changes to the H-2B temporary worker program and specifically focus on the full implementation stage of the new H-2B regulations that were published on December 19, 2008. To read the full text of the Notice, please click here."

    • June 29, 2009: Suspension Enjoined
      On June 29, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a preliminary injunction against the Department's Final Suspension of the December 2008 Final H-2A Rule. As a result of this court action, and unless and until additional court action takes place, the Suspension is no longer in effect; the December 2008 Final Rule remains in effect.

    • June 19, 2009: H-2B Entertainer FAQs: The Department has released FAQs for H-2Bs in the entertainment industry. To read them, click here.

    • May 29, 2009: Notice of Final Suspension: The Department is suspending the H-2A Final Rule published on December 18, 2008 and in effect as of January 17, 2009. The Suspension will be effective on June 29, 2009. As of that date, the regulations previously in effect as of January 2009, published in the May 29 Federal Register, will be in effect for a period of no more than 9 months.

    • May 13, 2009: LCA Legacy System to Remain Operational Through June 30, 2009
      OFLC will keep the old LCA system operational through June 30, 2009 to give all users sufficient time to fully transition to the new iCERT system. Users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the iCERT system as quickly as possible to allow adequate time to establish accounts and file LCAs using the new ETA-9035. Please note that all technical issues need to continue to be raised through the iCERT help desk at OFLC.Portal@dol.gov.

    • April 20, 2009: H-2B FAQs The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has posted the first round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the H-2B program under the new regulations, which took effect January 18, 2009. To see the FAQs click here. The questions deal with the new forms ETA-9141 and ETA-9142, including where to find the NAICS and SOC codes, where and when to file, and other useful information. The FAQs for the old H-2B program are still available through the link located in the right margin on the OFLC home page.

    • April 16, 2009: Extension of H-2A Transition Procedures
      The Department published an Interim Final Rule extending the transition procedures in the H-2A Final Rule published in December 2008. This Interim Final Rule extends the transition period of the application filing procedures currently in effect for all H-2A employers with a date of need on or before July 1, 2009. The IFR extends the transition procedures to applications filed with a date of need before January 1, 2010. To see the IFR, click here. Persons interested in submitting comments may do so in the manner indicated in the IFR by May 18, 2009.

    • April 15, 2009: iCERT Portal – The new electronic portal was put in production on April 15, 2009. The legacy LCA tools will remain available for four weeks (until May 15, 2009) to allow time for a smooth transition. To access iCERT System, please click here.

    • April 1, 2009 Announcement of New iCERT System Rollout Schedule: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is announcing the implementation of a new one-stop visa portal system, formally called the iCERT System, to improve employer access to employment-based visa application services and OFLC immigration news and information. Beginning April 15, 2009, employers or their authorized representatives will be able to register with the iCERT System and establish a single account to file the new ETA Form 9035E – Labor Condition Application (LCA) covering the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa programs. In addition, OFLC has implemented a dedicated Help Desk Unit at the Chicago National Processing Center to serve as a resource to those employers and or their authorized representatives filing LCAs with the Department.

      To obtain a copy of the User Manual for the iCERT Portal Account Registration process, click here

      To obtain a copy of the User Manual for preparing and submitting the new ETA Form 9035E Labor Condition Application, click here


    • March 26, 2009 Notice Withdrawing Arriaga Discussion: The Federal Register has published a Notice regarding language contained in both the preambles to the H-2A and H-2B Final Rules, published in December. The Notice withdraws an opinion expressed in both preambles that the Fair Labor Standards Act and its implementing regulations “do not require employers to reimburse workers under the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs, respectively, for relocation expenses even when such costs result in the workers being paid less than the minimum wage.” The Notice withdraws this interpretation from further consideration as a statement of Department policy. To read the full text of the Notice, click here.

    • H2A Regulation Mailbox Temporarily Suspended: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has temporarily suspended its H.2ARegulation@dol.gov mailbox. The purpose of the temporary suspension is to avoid the inadvertent and incorrect submission of comments to the Notice of Proposed Suspension to that email box. The Notice directs all comments to the appropriate submission vehicles, both electronically and by mail or other methods. The box will be reactivated after the comment period on the Notice.
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    • March 17, 2009
      The Department published a Notice of Proposed Suspension of the H-2A Final Rule, published December 18, 2008. The Department is accepting comments on the Notice of Proposed Suspension. To see the Notice, click here. To see FAQs regarding the Department's consideration of H-2A applications in light of the Notice, Click here.

    • New Prevailing Wage Form: In conjunction with the regulations going into effect on January 18, 2009 for the H-2B program, the Department has created and received approval from OMB for a new form to collect the necessary information from employers in order to provide a prevailing wage so that employers may begin the recruitment process. Employers must begin using the Form ETA-9141 for wage requests for H-2B work that is to commence on or after October 1, 2009. For instructions on how to complete the form and appendices see the instructions.

    • For LCA System:
      WARNING: Effective upon the enactment of HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, pursuant to section 1611(b), Div. A, it shall be unlawful for any recipient of funding under title I of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343) or section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 342 et seq.) to hire any nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(h)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(h)(i)(b)) for new employment unless the recipient is in compliance with the requirements for an H-1B dependent employer (as defined in section 212(n)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(3))), except that the second sentence of section 212(n)(1)(E)(ii) of such Act shall not apply. Employers who are recipients of such funding may not file Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for new employment unless they complete the actions and make the attestations required of dependent employers. *Until further notice, for those companies that are not dependent H-1B employers but are subject to this provision, please check Box “B” in Section F-1.1 of the ETA-9035 in order to demonstrate compliance as required. It is recommended that such employers retain documentation regarding their status.*

      Information regarding the additional attestations required of H-1B-dependent employers—non-displacement and recruitment of U.S. workers-can be found at 20 CFR sections 655.738 and 655.739. For information regarding those employers who are recipients of such funding, go to http://www.treas.gov/initiatives/eesa/transactions.shtml

      Briefings on using redesigned labor certification forms

      On February 4 and 9, 2009, the Department of Labor held public briefings in San Diego and Baltimore, respectively, to educate stakeholders, program users, and other interested members of the public on using the reengineered application form 9089 used in the PERM program and form 9035 Labor Condition Application used in the H-1B/H-1B1/E-3 programs. The briefings also described the online portal system by which most users of these programs file applications. Click below to see handouts from the briefings:


    • January 12, 2009
      New Forms: In conjunction with the regulations going into effect on January 17 and 18 for the H-2A and H-2B programs, the Department has created new forms to collect the necessary information from employers applying for labor certifications. Employers must begin using the Form ETA-9142 on the effective date of the new regulations. In addition, for the H-2A program employers must fill out and submit Appendix A.1 and Appendix A.2. For the H-2B program employers must fill out and submit Appendix B.1. For instructions on how to complete the form and appendices see the instructions. The H-2B Final Rule requires the use of the new Form ETA-9141 for prevailing wage determinations. However, the use of this form will only begin after the transition period outlined in the rule is completed. Therefore, Form ETA-9141 will be posted towards the end of the transition period.

      H-2A Final Rule: On December 18, 2008, the Office of the Federal Register published the Department's Final Rule on H-2A Temporary Agricultural Employment. Click here for the Final Rule. The Final Rule is effective January 17, 2009, although certain aspects of the Rule will be subject to transition provisions. The application form published with the rule is not official. Click here for the final Form ETA-9142, Appendix A.1, Appendix A.2 and accompanying instructions, which include the expiration date. The Department will shortly post an ETA Form 9142 that is fillable on line. We strongly encourage program users to complete the fillable form. Employers with questions are encouraged to submit those questions to OFLC at H-2A.Regulation@dol.gov. Due to a high volume of calls, we will be unable to respond individually to inquiries.

      On December 5, 2008, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared for publication the Department's H-2A Final Rule. Click here for the preamble to the Final Rule and click here for the Final Rule. Please note this document has not yet received final approval from the Office of the Federal Register, which may make minor changes prior to publication. The official version of the rule, as published, may differ from that cleared by OMB.
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    • January 5, 2009
      OFLC Performance Report: The Employment and Training Administration's (ETA's) Office of Foreign Labor Certification today posted its FY 2007 performance report -- Foreign Labor Certification: International Talent Helping Meet Employer Demand. This report includes key facts about the variety of occupations certified in the permanent and temporary labor certification programs and the number of jobs filled, employers that request foreign workers, and the countries from which those workers come. The report also contains important information for the public on labor market trends and occupational opportunities for Americans. Read the report here.

    • January 5, 2009
      PERM Supervised Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions: OFLC has issued a round of FAQs for issues stemming from its supervised recruitment process. Read the FAQs here.

      H-2B Final Rule:
      On December 19, 2008, the Office of the Federal Register published the Department's Final Rule on H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Employment. Click here for the Final Rule. The Final Rule is effective January 18, 2009, although certain aspects of the Rule will be subject to transition provisions. The application form accompanying this rule, ETA Form 9142, was published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2008, in conjunction with the Department's H-2A Final Rule. The Department will shortly post an ETA Form 9142 that is fillable on line. We strongly encourage program users to complete the fillable form. Employers with questions are encouraged to submit those questions to OFLC at H-2B.Regulation@dol.gov. Due to a high volume of calls, we will be unable to respond individually to inquiries.

      H-2A Final Rule: On December 18, 2008, the Office of the Federal Register published the Department’s Final Rule on H-2A Temporary Agricultural Employment. Click here for the Final Rule. The Final Rule is effective January 17, 2009, although certain aspects of the Rule will be subject to transition provisions. The application form published with the rule is not official. Click here for the final ETA Form 9142, Appendix A.1, Appendix A.2 and accompanying instructions, which include the expiration date. The Department will shortly post an ETA Form 9142 that is fillable on line. We strongly encourage program users to complete the fillable form. Employers with questions are encouraged to submit those questions to OFLC at H-2A.Regulation@dol.gov. Due to a high volume of calls, we will be unable to respond individually to inquiries.

      On December 5, 2008, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared for publication the Department’s H-2A Final Rule. Click here for the preamble to the Final Rule and click here for the Final Rule. Please note this document has not yet received final approval from the Office of the Federal Register, which may make minor changes prior to publication. The official version of the rule, as published, may differ from that cleared by OMB.

      LCA Expiration: The LCA form (ETA 9035 OMB control number 1205-0310) which was due to expire November 30, 2008 had previously been submitted to OMB for an extension. The 30 day Federal Register Notice was published on November 7, 2008 (72 FR 66259) as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The publication of the 30 day notice automatically extends the form while it is under review. The public should continue to use the current form until further notice.

      Public Briefings on Using the New H-2A Temporary Agricultural Labor Certification Program (Click here for federal register notice)
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    Calendar Year 2008
    • October 24, 2008
      H-2A Amendments and Extensions
      The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has introduced an electronic mailbox at the Chicago National Processing Center specifically for processing employer’s requests for extending or amending certified H-2A applications.  Now, all H-2A amendment and extension requests will go through this centralized mailbox  in order to ensure  greater consistency and efficiency in processing employer’s requests for extending or amending their H-2A applications.  The electronic mailbox can be found at: H2a.amend&extend.chicago@dol.gov.  (Click here to view the OFLC Fact Sheet on H-2A Amendments and Extensions.)

    • September 17, 2008
      The Department has been presented with evidence indicating that prior to its recent audits, many immigration attorneys believed that the Department’s rule regarding consideration of U.S. workers did not apply to them unless they represented not only the employer seeking the labor certification, but also the alien for whom the certification was being sought. That interpretation is incorrect, as the Department’s recently issued PERM program clarifying guidance makes clear. Nevertheless, the Department will apply the requirements of the consideration rule as interpreted by its recent guidance only to labor certification applications the recruitment for which was begun after August 29, 2008, the date on which the Department’s final guidance was issued. All pending audits triggered exclusively by consideration rule concerns are therefore being released and will be processed in accordance with their original filing date.

    • August 29, 2008
      Important Notice: Restatement of PERM Program Guidance Bulletin on the Clarification of Scope of Consideration Rule in 20 CFR 656.10(b)(2). click here

    • August 1, 2008
      Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Office of Foreign Labor Certification Program Debarments. click here

    • July 31, 2008
      Important Notice:  Federal Minimum Wage
      Please be advised that the Federal minimum wage has been established at $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008 for work performed from July 24, 2008 to July 23, 2009. The Federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009 for work performed on or after July 24, 2009.

    • May 22, 2008
      Important Notice: H-2B Program May 22, 2008, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is proposing to amend its regulations to modernize the H-2B program for temporary non-agricultural employment of aliens in the United States. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the May 22, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (73 FR No. 100, pages 29942-29975). The NPRM proposes to redesign the process by which U.S. employers seek labor certification from the Department of Labor for temporary labor under the H-2B visa program. The reengineered program would modernize the application process and strengthen program integrity. To view the NPRM, click here.
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    • April 30, 2008
      Webinar FAQs on Employment Verification for SWAs, Round 3

      OFLC has released additional FAQs arising from questions posed by SWAs regarding their employment verification obligations. Read them here.

    • April 11, 2008
      E-3 Final Regulations Published
      The Department has issued final regulations regarding Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for E-3 Australian nationals. The final regulations are effective immediately. To read the regulations click here.

    • April 4, 2008
      Specialization FAQs, Round 1 OFLC has published the first round of FAQs regarding its upcoming transfer of functions between the Chicago and Atlanta National Processing Centers. The FAQs deal with transitional issues stemming from the specialization. Read them here

    • March 31, 2008
      Employment Verification Today the Office of Foreign Labor Certification posted new resources for State Workforce Agencies to assist in meeting the obligation to conduct employment eligibility verification on referrals in H-2A job orders. To view these resources please look under Quick Links.

    • March 31, 2008
      Fraud FAQs, Round 2 OFLC has issued a second round of FAQs for issues stemming from the final fraud rule published in May 2007. Read the FAQs here.

    • March 27, 2008
      Extension of Comment Period for H-2A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking The Employment and Training Administration and the Employment Standards Administration recently issued a proposed rule to modernize the application process for and enforcement of temporary alien agricultural (H-2A) labor certifications. 73 FR 8538 (Feb. 13, 2008). Today the agencies published a Notice to extend the comment period through April 14, 2008. To read this notice, click here.
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    • March 06, 2008
      State Workforce Agency (SWA) Webinar FAQs on TEGL 11-07 SWAs have been given guidance regarding TEGL 11-07, change 1. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is posting Round Two of FAQs from questions specifically posed by SWAs. They are provided to SWA staff to assist in the interpretation and implementation of the TEGL. To view the FAQs click here.

    • March 05, 2008
      National Processing Centers On March 5, 2008, the Department published in the Federal Register a Notice announcing upcoming changes in the filing locations of temporary and permanent labor certifications as well as withdrawals of labor certification applications and the filing of other nonimmigrant attestations and applications. These changes will be effective June 1, 2008. Read more about them here.

    • February 27, 2008
      Adverse Effect Wage Rates On February 26, 2008, the Department of Labor published a Notice in the Federal Register announcing the 2008 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs), allowable meal charges, and maximum travel subsistence expenses. Click here to access the Notice. The 2008 AEWRs can also now be found on the wage information section of this website.

    • February 26, 2008
      Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) Disclosure Data On February 1, 2008, the ETA Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) released its official FY 2007 public disclosure data covering cases processed under the Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM). PERM is commonly known as the “Green Card” employment -based immigration program. PERM data can be useful to public managers and workforce professionals at all levels of governance engaged in policy development and operational planning within a regional economic context. To learn more, click here.

    • February 13, 2008
      Important Notice: H-2A Program February 13, 2008, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is proposing to amend its regulations to modernize the H-2A program for temporary agricultural employment of aliens in the United States. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in the February 13, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (Federal Register, Vol. 73, Number 30, pp 8538-8584). The NPRM proposes to redesign the process by which U.S. employers seek labor certification from the Department of Labor for temporary agricultural labor under the H-2A visa program. The re-design would modernize the application process and strengthen program integrity. To view the NPRM, click here. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a proposed rule of modifications to provide employers with a streamlined hiring process for temporary and seasonal agricultural workers under the H-2A program. To view the DHS NPRM, click here.

    • February 12, 2008
      E-Verify-State Workforce Agency MOU The Department has been working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration to provide State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) with access to the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system. SWAs are required to verify the employment eligibility of all referrals to H-2A job orders (see Training and Employment Guidance Letter 11-07, ch. 1, TEGL 11-07). The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is now available to enable SWAs to access E-Verify. The MOU must be submitted to DHS by the SWA in order to access the E-Verify system. To obtain the MOU click here .To obtain the SWA instructions for accessing and registering for E-Verify, click here.SWAs interested in submitting the MOU should contact the E-Verify office (e-verifyprograms@dhs.gov) to coordinate submission of the MOU to DHS.

    • February 8, 2008
      Final Disposition The Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) in Dallas and Philadelphia closed on December 21, 2007. Cases that were in process at the time the BECs closed will be completed by the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s personnel. The Backlog Public Disclosure System will continue to be active until the cases that are “in process” are completed. Case status can be checked at http://pds.pbls.doleta.gov. All disposition questions should be directed to the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) at bec.chicago@dol.gov. Please include Attn: Backlog in the subject line. Please note that the Chicago NPC will not have direct access to case files and will only be able to provide limited information.
      Appeal requests on cases denied by the BECs should be sent to the Chicago National Processing Center at the following address:

      U.S. Department of Labor
      Employment and Training Administration
      ATTN: BEC Appeals
      844 N. Rush Street
      12th Floor
      Chicago, IL 60611
      For additional information, please read FAQs Round 8.

    • February 5, 2008
      State Workforce Agency (SWA) Webinar FAQs on TEGL 11-07 SWAs have been given guidance regarding TEGL 11-07, change 1. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is posting Round One of FAQs from questions specifically posed by SWAs. They are provided to SWA staff to assist in the interpretation and implementation of the TEGL. These answers were originally provided to participants on January 25, 2008. To view the FAQs click here.
    • December 17, 2007, Backlog Frequently Asked Questions Round 8
      The Employment and Training Administration's Office of Foreign Labor Certification today posted Round 8 of the Backlog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Read about them here.
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    Calendar Year 2007
    • December 12, 2007. H-2B Frequently Asked Questions
      Round Two of H-2B Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.
    • November 20, 2007. Important Notice, H-2A Program Guidance

      On November 14, 2007, the Employment and Training Administration issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 11-07 - Change 1, Clarification of Certain Procedures for Processing H-2A Labor Certification Applications, to clarify procedures for State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and Employment and Training Administration National Processing Centers (NPCs) involved in the processing of H-2A labor certification applications for temporary agricultural employment of foreign workers in the United States. The TEGL applies to all H-2A labor certification applications pending with or received by the NPC and SWA received on or after the date the TEGL is issued. To read the TEGL as published November 20, 2007, in the Federal Register, click here.

    • November 1, 2007. Backlog Frequently Asked Questions Round 7
      The Employment and Training Administration's Office of Foreign Labor Certification today posted Round 7 of the Backlog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Read about them here.

    • October 4, 2007. Backlog Ends in Permanent Labor Certification Program
      As of September 30, 2007, the Backlog in the Permanent Labor Certification program has been eliminated, with nearly 99% of cases completed and the remainder awaiting responses from employers. Both of the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) have started a transition and shutdown phase that will continue through December.

      The BECs will continue to use the general information email boxes as the communication source for a limited period. These addresses are: info@dal.dflc.us (Dallas BEC) or info@phi.dflc.us (Philadelphia BEC).

      The Backlog Public Disclosure System will continue to be active until the remaining cases are completed. Case status can be checked at http://pds.pbls.doleta.gov. Employers/attorneys are encouraged to respond to any dated correspondence as soon as possible regarding remaining cases to facilitate a final disposition.

    • September 24, 2007. Important Announcement

      The New York Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification has moved its H-2B processing office from New York, New York to Albany, New York. To file an H-2B application in the state of New York, employers may forward their applications to:

      New York State Department of Labor
      Foreign Labor Certification Unit
      Post Office Box 15127
      Albany, New York 12212
      Attn: Cynthia Baez
      Phone: (518) 457-6823

      To file an H-2A application in the state of New York, employers may forward their applications to:

      NYS Department of Labor
      Foreign Labor Certification – H2A
      Building 12, Room 266
      Albany, NY 12240
      518-457-7001

      To obtain a prevailing wage determination you may contact the New York State Department of Labor at:

      Supervising Labor Service Rep.
      New York State Department of Labor
      1 Hudson Square
      75 Varick Street
      New York, N.Y. 10013
      212-775-3798

      For additional information please contact Ms. Cynthia Baez at H2BFLC@labor.state.ny.us or call 518-457-6823.

      Further information regarding the New York Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification move to Albany, New York, please log onto: http://www.labor.state.ny.us/agencyinfo/H-2BApplicationProcessingChange.shtm.

    • September 17, 2007, OFLC Performance Report
      The Employment and Training Administration's (ETA's) Office of Foreign Labor Certification today posted the performance report--Foreign Labor Certification: International Talent Helping Meet Employer Demand. This report contains information on the reduction of the backlog of pending cases as well as results of a re-engineered PERM program including interesting facts about the jobs filled, employers that request them and the countries from which they come. It also provides similar information on the temporary programs. It also provides important information on the needs of employers in the dynamic U.S. economy. It contains important information for the public on labor market trends and occupational opportunities for Americans. Read the report here.

    • July 17, 2007, Round One of H-2B Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.
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    • July 16, 2007, Fraud Rule FAQs On May 17, 2007, the Employment and Training Administration issued a Final Rule to clarify and augment its regulations on the permanent labor certification program, including the processing of cases backlogged under the prior regulation. 20 CFR part 656; 72 Fed. Reg. 29704 (May 17, 2007). The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is publishing these FAQs to clarify certain aspects of the Final Rule. Read the FAQs here.

      Important Announcement: On April 4, 2007, the Department of Labor issued TEGL 21-06, which updated procedures for State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and ETA National Processing Centers (NPCs) to use in the processing of temporary labor certification applications under the H-2B program. The Department then held two public briefing sessions in Chicago and Atlanta on May 1 and May 4, 2007, respectively. Employers and other stakeholders who attended those public briefing sessions raised important questions and concerns with regard to the effective implementation of TEGL 21-06, and the purpose of this document is to outline certain modifications to TEGL 21-06 as a formal response to those issues and concerns. Attachment A: Procedures for H-2B Certification of Temporary Non-Agricultural Occupations (Revised June 2007) of TEGL 21-06, Change 1, replaces and supersedes the prior corresponding operating procedures issued under TEGL 21-06. To obtain a copy of TEGL 21-06, Change 1, please click here. (accessible version can be found here.)

    • June 7, 2007, H-2B
      The Department of Labor has released updated information for employers filing H-2B applications in non-agricultural occupations. Employers seeking to obtain information regarding the status of their H-2B applications or information about other technical assistance materials, click here.

    • June 4, 2007, AJB to AJE
      In anticipation of America's Job Bank (AJB) ceasing operations as a recruitment tool, the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) will be switching to America's Job Exchange (AJE) as an alternative site for posting recruitment advertisements for backlogged Foreign Labor Certification recruitment activity. AJE is one of the alternatives authorized by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The BECs have coordinated with AJE staff and we believe this transition will cause little if any disruption. According to the description provided by AJB, "AJE will offer the same national labor exchange services that AJB provided … [using] the same screens and functions as AJB ensuring a seamless transition between sites.

      "Because AJB is going to stop operations by June 30, 2007, in order to ensure full recruitment periods, the BECs will switch to AJE as of June 1, 2007. Therefore, employers and job seekers will be able to find the job postings on AJE starting on June 1st. Advertisements posted on AJB prior to June 1st will continue on AJB through their full recruitment periods on AJB.

      AJE can be found at: http://www.americasjobexchange.com/

    • May 18, 2007, Federal Register
      The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration is amending its regulations to enhance program integrity and reduce the incentives and opportunities for fraud and abuse related to the permanent employment of aliens in the United States. The Final Rule was published in the May 17, 2007 Federal Register. Among other actions, this final regulation prohibits substitution of aliens named on applications for permanent labor certification, imposes a 180-day validity period on labor certifications, and makes other changes designed to strengthen the integrity of the labor certification process. For a copy of the Final Rule, click here.

    • May 10, 2007, Tenth Round of Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.

    • May 9, 2007, H-2B Stakeholder Briefings
      On May 1, 2007 and May 4, 2007 , the Department of Labor held two national briefing sessions in Chicago and Atlanta, respectively, to discuss recently updated guidance for State Workforce Agencies and ETA National Processing Centers (NPCs) to process H-2B labor condition applications in non-agricultural occupations. The purpose of the briefing sessions was to inform the user community of the processing protocols implemented at the NPCs in Chicago and Atlanta. Click here (pdf version here) to view the presentation for the employers filing H-2B applications. To ensure that all employers/stakeholders are fully aware of the filing requirements, and to ensure that applications for H-2B visas are processed in the most time efficient manner, the Department of Labor has released filing tips for employers submitting H-2B applications. Click here to download a copy of the H-2B Stakeholder Filing Tips. Additionally, the Department of Labor delivered presentations on the procedures for processing H-2B applications for occupations involved in entertaining and tree planting and forestry related activities. Click here (pdf version here) to view the presentation for the employers in the Entertainment industry filing H-2B applications. Click here (pdf version here) to view the presentation for the employers in the Forestry industry filing H-2B applications.
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    • April 19, 2007, Backlog
      1. General BEC Information E-Mail Box: In order to facilitate improved responsiveness by OFLC to employers' questions concerning Permanent Labor Certification applications pending at the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs), OFLC announces the enhanced implementation of general information e-mail boxes at the BECs. Employers or their representatives should direct their e-mails to the general information box at info@dal.dflc.us for the Dallas BEC or at info@phi.dflc.us for the Philadelphia BEC. In order to facilitate responses, the subject line of the email should be specific regarding the question.

      Please remember that these e-mail boxes are for employers/representatives who have specific issues regarding their application. The BECs do not respond to general "status" inquiries. Current case status may be obtained with the case number using the Public Disclosure System (http://pds.pbls.doleta.gov/).

      2. OFLC Encourages Rapid Applicant Response.
      To enable the BECs to complete the processing of applications as soon as possible, OFLC strongly encourages employers/representatives to send in their responses to Notice of Findings (NOF) letters and Recruitment Report Instructions letters as soon as a response is prepared. Although regulations set forth specific timelines for the maximum time allowed for a response, employers/representatives need not use the full allotted time to respond. The sooner responses are received by the BEC, the sooner they can be processed and the application can reach resolution. Therefore, OFLC encourages employers/representatives to send in their responses as soon as possible.

      3. Notice of Finding Rebuttal Extensions–Consistent with item two above, in order to provide the best service possible and eliminate the backlog of applications efficiently, OFLC announces that the BECs will no longer routinely grant extensions to the time allotted by regulation for employers/representatives to rebut a Notice of Findings (NOF). OFLC will only grant such extensions for the most extreme extenuating circumstances. In the absence of a granted extension, applications for which a timely rebuttal is not posted by the deadline stated in the NOF are denied. April 10, 2007, H-2B Program Guidance.

      The Department of Labor has released updated guidance for State Workforce Agencies and ETA National Processing Centers to process H-2B labor condition applications in non-agricultural occupations. Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 21-06: Procedures for H-2B Temporary Labor Certification in Non-Agricultural Occupations replaces and supersedes prior operating procedures issued under General Administrative Letter (GAL) 01-95, GAL 01-95, Change 1, and Field Memorandum (FM) 25-98. This guidance was also published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2007. It works in concert with the new centralized filing process at the NPCs to ensure greater consistency in the processing of H-2B applications. Special handling procedures for certain non-agricultural occupations, such as forestry workers and boilermakers, will be issued through separate guidance letters by the National Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

      H-2B Stakeholder Briefing
      On April 10, 2007, the Department of Labor published a Notice in the Federal Register inviting H-2B employers/stakeholders to one of two national briefing sessions in Chicago and Atlanta on May 1st and May 4th, respectively. The purpose of these sessions is to ensure the H-2B user community is fully briefed on the contents of the Department’s new H-2B Training and Employment Guidance Letter, 21-06, issued on April 4, 2007. Because hotel space is limited, the Department requests that company and attorney/agency representation be limited to three per site. Click www.dtiassociates.com/H2Bstakeholdersmeeting to register for either Chicago or Atlanta.

    • February 21, 2007, Adverse Effect Wage Rates.
      On February 21, 2007, the Department of Labor published a Notice in the Federal Register announcing the 2007 Adverse Effect Wage Rates, allowable meal charges, and maximum travel subsistence expenses. Click here for a detailed listing of the 2007 AEWRs, which can be found on the wage information section of this website.

      Special Procedures. The Department promulgated Special Procedures for Processing H-2A Applications for Occupations Involved in the Open Range Production of Livestock, and Special Procedures for Employers in the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry. The Department has also reissued previous guidance on information H-2A employers must report to State Workforce Agencies regarding worker abandonment, rejection or termination, and reissued special procedures for Processing H-2A Applications for Multi-State Custom Combine Owner/Operators. Click here for a copy of the new advisories, which can be found in the policy and regulations section of this website.

    • February 12, 2007, Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Reauthorization Act of 2005
      as Reauthorization Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-423, took effect December 20, 2006. The Act reauthorized the H-1C nonimmigrant nurses program, a program originally created by the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999. Under this program, eligible hospitals file attestations with the Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification which, if approved, will support nonimmigrant worker petitions filed with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Department of Health and Human Services has informed the Office of Foreign Labor Certification that the same hospitals eligible for the original program continue to be eligible. These were listed in the Department of Labor's Interim Final Rule implementing its portion of the H-1C program published on August 22, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 51138). The Employment and Training Administration, under the authority of the new public law, is reinstating the H-1C labor attestation program and is accepting applications by qualified hospitals. Eligible hospitals should be advised that the now-expired OFLC form (ETA 9081), Attestations by Facilities Temporarily Employing H-1C Nonimmigrant Aliens as Registered Nurses, has not been authorized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for current use. However, the OFLC will accept applications using the expired form until a new form is approved by the OMB. The attestations are made enforceable by the 2005 Act. ETA is in the process of revising the form under the OMB clearance process, and taking other appropriate regulatory action. Once approved by OMB, employers will be required to use only the new form. We will advise once the new form is available for public use. Please address questions to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification at (202) 693-3010.
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    • January 23, 2007, Backlog Case Type
      The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announces a procedure for employers or their authorized representatives to follow if they believe the case type as reflected on the Public Disclosure System (PDS) is incorrect (e.g., if it is listed as TR but they believe it should be RIR, or vice versa).

      In such an event, e-mail the general information e-mail box at the appropriate Backlog Elimination Center (BEC). The subject line of the e-mail must read "Incorrect Case Type - Case # [insert case number]." The body of the e-mail should explain why the employer believes the case type is incorrect. Any supporting documentation may be attached as a pdf. The BECs will review the case and reply as soon as possible based on the volume of requests.

    • January 12, 2007, E-3 Regulations Published
      On Friday, January 12, 2007, the Federal Register published the Department of Labor’s proposed rule on E-3 visa attestations. The E-3 visa classification was established by title V of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-13, § 501, 119 Stat. 231, 278 (2005)), and applies to certain Australian nationals coming to the United States solely to perform services in specialty occupations. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking clarifies the procedures that employers must follow in obtaining a DOL-certified labor condition application before seeking an E-3 visa for a foreign worker. Comments to the NPRM must be received within 30 days.

    • January 10, 2007, Extension of Deadline to E-mail Request for RIR Conversion "Hold Harmless" Opportunity
      On December 22, 2006, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced the RIR Conversion "Hold Harmless" Opportunity. Since the original deadline to submit requests for the RIR Conversion "Hold Harmless" Opportunity fell on a Saturday, OFLC announces that the deadline to e-mail a request to the Backlog Elimination Centers to take advantage of the "Hold Harmless" opportunity will be extended to Midnight EST, on January 22, 2007. Please see the Backlog FAQ Round 6 for more information about the RIR Conversion Hold Harmless Opportunity including language for the request.

    • December 22, 2006, OFLC Announces RIR Conversion "Hold Harmless" Opportunity.
      On October 6, 2006, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) issued a TEGL that extended the time available to convert a permanent labor certification application filed under traditional processing ("TR case") to a case requesting reduction in recruitment (“RIR”) processing. This TEGL enabled the Department to assess additional interest in RIR conversions for cases still pending at ETA Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs). The Department has determined that additional guidance would further enable applicants to accurately assess their eligibility to request their case(s) be considered for conversion.

      Specifically, by this announcement and corresponding FAQ, the Department is addressing stakeholder community concerns that the employer will be "held harmless" for requesting cases be considered for RIR conversion in light of simultaneous or subsequent recruitment instructions coming from the BEC in accordance with applicable regulations. Accordingly, the Department has developed a limited policy whereby employers may better ascertain their eligibility to participate in this conversion opportunity. For more information please see the FAQ here.

    • December 12, 2007
      H-2B Frequently Asked Questions Round Two of H-2B Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.

    • November 20, 2007
      Important Notice, H-2A Program Guidance On November 14, 2007, the Employment and Training Administration issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 11-07 - Change 1, Clarification of Certain Procedures for Processing H-2A Labor Certification Applications, to clarify procedures for State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and Employment and Training Administration Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) involved in the processing of H-2A labor certification applications for temporary agricultural employment of foreign workers in the United States. The TEGL applies to all H-2A labor certification applications pending with or received by the Chicago NPC and SWA received on or after the date the TEGL is issued. To read the TEGL as published November 20, 2007, in the Federal Register, click here.

    • September 24, 2007
      Important Announcement The New York Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification has moved its H-2B processing office from New York, New York to Albany, New York. To file an H-2B application in the state of New York, employers may forward their applications to:

      New York State Department of Labor
      Foreign Labor Certification Unit
      Post Office Box 15127
      Albany, New York 12212
      Attn: Cynthia Baez
      Phone: (518) 457-6823

      To file an H-2A application in the state of New York, employers may forward their applications to:

      NYS Department of Labor
      Foreign Labor Certification – H2A
      Building 12, Room 266
      Albany, NY 12240
      518-457-7001

      To obtain a prevailing wage determination you may contact the New York State Department of Labor at:

      Supervising Labor Service Rep.
      New York State Department of Labor
      1 Hudson Square
      75 Varick Street
      New York, N.Y. 10013
      212-775-3798

      For additional information please contact Ms. Cynthia Baez at H2BFLC@labor.state.ny.us or call 518-457-6823. Further information regarding the New York Department of Labor's Foreign Labor Certification move to Albany, New York, please log onto: http://www.labor.state.ny.us/agencyinfo/H-2BApplicationProcessingChange.shtm.

    • September 17, 2007
      OFLC Performance Report The Employment and Training Administration's (ETA's) Office of Foreign Labor Certification today posted the performance report--Foreign Labor Certification: International Talent Helping Meet Employer Demand. This report contains information on the reduction of the backlog of pending cases as well as results of a re-engineered PERM program including interesting facts about the jobs filled, employers that request them and the countries from which they come. It also provides similar information on the temporary programs. It also provides important information on the needs of employers in the dynamic U.S. economy. It contains important information for the public on labor market trends and occupational opportunities for Americans. Read the report here.
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    Calendar Year 2006
    • November 29, 2006, Ninth Round of Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.

    • November 15, 2006, Backlog Cases Inadvertently Withdrawn as Re-Files
      It has come to the attention of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) that due to a technical issue, a number of cases were inadvertently identified as pending PERM re-file applications and were withdrawn from the backlog. OFLC is working to rectify this situation immediately by identifying the affected cases, and reinstating them back to the appropriate processing status in proper order. This effort will be completed by November 30, 2006.

      Although affected employers and their attorneys will NOT be receiving an additional notice of reinstatement, they may verify their case has been reinstated using the Public Disclosure System (PDS) starting December 1st. Since verification will be available online, employers and attorneys are requested not to contact the Backlog Elimination Centers regarding status.

    • October 6, 2006, RIR Conversion Extension
      Because the Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) application processing takes significantly less time than Traditional Recruitment (TR) to reach resolution on the application, the Department of Labor (DOL) previously encouraged employers to convert TR applications to RIR by following the process established by 66 FR 40584. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announces that it is extending the application date for employers who wish to convert their TR applications to RIR applications.

      As of this announcement, any TR application (excluding those for schedule B occupations) submitted to a SWA with a postmark dated on or before March 28, 2005 may request conversion to RIR by following the established process. For additional information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here.

    • September 11, 2006, Public Disclosure System
      The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has received many requests from employers, attorneys, and aliens regarding the status of applications being processed as part of the backlog elimination effort. In order to provide basic case status information on specific cases, OFLC introduces the Backlog Public Disclosure System (PDS).

      The purpose of the PDS is to provide a vehicle for employers, attorneys, agents, and aliens to determine the status of an application filed at a Backlog Elimination Center (BEC). Users can access PDS by clicking on the "Check Backlog Case Status" link on DOL's Backlog Centers' webpage or by clicking here.

      Once the PDS website is open, users will enter the 10-digit case number which begins with a "D" if the case is located in the Dallas BEC or "P" if the case is in the Philadelphia BEC. (Note: Some cases may have had case numbers staring with "T" prior to completing data entry at a Backlog Center. All such cases have since been converted and now begin with either "D" or "P" which should be used for case status checks on the PDS.)

      After entering the case number, the search results will indicate the current case status. Case status definitions are provided at the bottom of the PDS website pages.

      If you have questions regarding the PDS, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about PDS here.

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      No Contact from BEC

      The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has developed a process for an employer or attorney who believes an application should be pending at the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) but for which no contact (e.g., no 45-Day Center Receipt Notification Letters (CRNL), case closed letter, or other correspondence about the case) from the BECs has been received.

      In order to provide these employers with the opportunity to have their applications processed while also guarding against potential fraud, OFLC has established specific steps for employers or their attorneys to follow. These steps are outlined in the FAQ located here.

      NOTE: This process is only for cases where the employer or attorney has received no contact whatsoever from the BEC about the case. This procedure is not for status checks or other case inquiries. This process is only for employers or their designated attorneys. Alien beneficiaries of labor certification applications are not authorized to use this process.

    • July 11, 2006, Non-Receipt of 45-day Letters Process for Addressing Related Requests to Reopen
      The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is aware that some employers or their legal representatives who have received "case closed" letters may not have previously received a "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter ("45-day letter") from the Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) processing their respective cases. In addition, cases may have been closed after employers or their representatives responded timely to a 45-day letter. OFLC has developed a process and remedy available to employers who believe a case has been closed due to issues surrounding the receipt of or response to 45-day letters. To be considered for case reopening, all requests must be received by the appropriate BEC within 30 days of the publication of this policy announcement or within 30-days of the receipt of a case closed letter, whichever is later.

      To learn more, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here.

    • March 20, 2006, New FAQ outlining how to request a Duplicate Labor Cert from USCIS. Click here to read.

    • February 21, 2006, Seventh Round of Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.

    • February 21, 2006, Sixth Round of Frequently Asked Questions are now available. Read about them here.

      In our continued effort to improve customer service, we have changed our web-site address. Our new web-site address is www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov.
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    Calendar Year 2005
    • December 20, 2005, Multiple Filings FAQ. Read about them here.
      Updated Hurricane Guidance: On Wednesday, November 16, 2005, the Division of Foreign Labor Certification (Division) issued guidance to the National Processing Center and Backlog Elimination Center Directors outlining interim procedures for the management of mail related to applications in the permanent labor certification program and extension of deadlines pertaining to applications affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Read about them here.

      Closing of regional offices within the Division of Foreign Labor Certification. As the Division of Foreign Labor Certification centralizes its review of permanent and temporary program applications, we will be closing regional office operations in order to unify filing and processing activities in two National Processing Centers, located in Atlanta and Chicago, and two Backlog Elimination Centers, located in Dallas and Philadelphia. To review chart, click here.

      Starting Monday, November 7, 2005, PERM certifications issued by DOL will have a new look. The certification will be printed on blue-colored paper. In addition, the certification stamp will no longer be used. This change in paper does not change requirements for stakeholders or for the program.

      Katrina Guidance: On Thursday October 13, 2005, the Division of Foreign Labor Certification issued a field memorandum to our Center Directors that outlines interim procedures for the management of mail related to applications for permanent labor certification affected by Hurricane Katrina. Read about them here.

    • August 8, 2005, Fifth Round of FAQs are now available. Read about them here.

    • On July 19, 2005, the Department of Labor published a notice in the Federal Register, "Information Regarding the Transfer of Temporary Program Cases to the Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers, the Processing Locations for Foreign Labor Certification Applications Filed With State Workforce Agencies and the Department of Labor, and the Filing of Applications for Certification Under the E-3 Worker Visa Program." Read the notice here.

    • June 16, 2005, H-1B Visa Extensions. Read about them here.

    • June 1, 2005, Fourth Round of FAQs are now available. Read about them here.

    • May 4, 2005, FAQs for the Backlog Processing Centers are now available. Read about them here.
      Third Round of FAQs are now available. Read about them here.
      Second Round of FAQs are now available. Read about them here.

    • On Monday March 28, 2005, the Department of Labor published a proposed rule which will amend its current regulations in the Federal Register regarding H-1B and H-1B1 employment in the United States.
      • Read about the Department of Labor's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.

        The Perm Online System is now available. Register HERE!

        The implementation of the H-1B Reform Act and the publication of the PERM regulation necessitate the need to issue policy clarification and procedural guidance to the State Workforce Agencies. The guidance provides the step-by-step procedure for selecting the appropriate wage level for prevailing wage purposes. Read them HERE.

        We have added FAQs concerning the Permanent regulation going into effect on 03-28-05. Read them HERE.

        On Thursday, February 3, 2005, the Division of Foreign Labor Certification Department of Labor conducted its final PERM briefing to the general public in Washington, D.C. Visit our PowerPoint presentation here.

      • On Monday, January 31, 2005, the Department of Labor published a notice in the Federal Register, "Announcement of the Mailing Addresses for Applications Not Filed Electronically Under the New Permanent Foreign Labor Certification (PERM)." Read the notice here.

      • On Thursday, January 27, 2005, the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security published proposed rules in the Federal Register regarding H-2B employment in the United States.

        Read the about Department of Labor's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.
        Read the about Department of Homeland Security's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.

        The new Permanent Labor Certification Final Rule (PERM) was published on 27 December 2004. Read the new rule here.

        • H-1B1 regulation Published. Read about it here.
        • H-1B cap for FY05 reached on 10-01-04. Read about it here.
        • Form ETA 9035 and 9035CP will be changing to allow H-1B applicants to identify whether they will be filing as a Traditional H-1B, H-1B1 Chile, or H-1B1 Singapore. It is anticipated that these modified forms will go into effect by mid-October. Click here to see the changes to Form 9035 and here to see the changes to the 9035CP.
        • Interim final rule related to the Backlog Reduction Centers published on 07-21-04. Click here to read about it!
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