As of today, the Department of Labor's Atlanta National Processing Center (ANPC) will be changing its procedure regarding requests for reconsideration of denied PERM Labor Certifications. Beginning on October 27, 2014, the ANPC will no longer automatically forward Requests for Reconsideration to the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) where the Certifying Officer upholds the original denial of the PERM. Requests for BALCA review must now be made affirmatively no later than 30 days after the request for reconsideration before the Certifying Officer is denied. See the DOL's FAQs for additional information.
On August 28, 2014, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) issued a decision finding that an employer's name must be explicitly stated on the Notice of Filing that must be posted at the workplace where the Beneficiary of the Labor Certification will work. In Matter of Tera Technologies, Inc., the employer had used the phrase "Our Company" on its notice of filing. The Department of Labor's Certifying Officer found that this did not meet the regulatory requirement that the employer explicitly state its name on the Notice of Filing. Although the employer argued that all employees who saw the Notice would know that it was for their company because the phrase "our company" was used and the employees knew the contact person listed on the Notice, BALCA held that the Certifying Officer was correct in denying certification.
At the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in June, the U.S. Department of Labor released statistics about the Labor Certification applications in process and Labor Condition Applications filed in preparation for submitting H-1B petitions. Interesting points include:
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification released its latest statistics regarding the Permanent Labor Certification (commonly called "PERM" or "Labor Certification") Program for the Fiscal Year 2014. So far, the Department of Labor (DOL) has received 53,325 applications, a 15% increase from last year. Of the 53,325 applications received, 47,257 have been certified, 3,618 denied, and 2,981 withdrawn. Among the certified applications, the top 5 occupation categories were Computer and Mathematical (56%), Architecture and Engineering (12%), Management (8%), Business and Financial Operations (7%), and Education, Training, and Library (5%); the top 5 work site States are California (24%), Texas (10%), New York (8%), New Jersey (7%), and Washington (7%); and the top 5 countries of citizenship are India (56%), China (7%), Canada (5%), South Korea (5%), and Philippines (3%). The vast majority of Beneficiaries of certified Labor Certifications are in H-1B status (83%), with L-1s coming in second at 5%. Finally, it is worth noting that 55% of the certified PERM applications required an Advanced Degree and 38% required a Bachelor’s degree. Only 2% of these applications required less than a Bachelor’s degree. Click here for the full report.
Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have indicated that they are not receiving email notifications that Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) have been certified through the Department of Labor's Icert Portal. However, the status of an LCA can be verified and a certified LCA may be printed by logging into the Icert portal. The LCA must be certified before an H-1B petition can be filed. April 1st is the first day to file H-1B petitions and petitions may only be filed until the fiscal year cap is reached. The cap is often reached in the first 1-2 weeks, so it is important for those preparing to file H-1B petitions to log into Icert to check the status of their LCAs.