PERM Plans to Modernize Recruitment Process

The US Department of Labor announced that it is modernizing US worker recruitment for the PERM process.

DOL has not comprehensively examined and modified the permanent labor certification requirements and process since their inception 10 years ago. Over the last 10 years, much has changed in our country’s economy, affecting employers’ demand for workers as well as the availability of a qualified domestic labor force. This past fiscal year, employers submitted over 70,000 PERM applications requesting foreign workers. The majority of those job openings were for professional occupations in the Information Technology and Science fields.

Over time, demands for labor have increased, and surpluses for various types of workers have changed. Advances in technology and information dissemination have dramatically altered common industry recruitment practices, and the DOL has received ongoing feedback that the existing regulatory requirements governing the PERM recruitment process frequently do not align with worker or industry needs and practices.

To respond to change, the DOL is working on new regulations for the following:

  • Options for identifying labor force occupational shortages and surpluses, and methods for aligning domestic worker recruitment requirements with demonstrated shortages and surpluses;
  • Methods and practices designed to modernize U.S. worker recruitment requirements;
  • Processes to clarify employer obligations to insure PERM positions are fully open to U.S. workers;
  • Ranges of case processing timeframes and possibilities for premium processing; and
  • Application submission and review process and feasibility for efficiently addressing nonmaterial errors.

The objective of the DOL is to align DOL recruitment methods with that of the U.S. immigration system and needs of workers and employers, and to enhance the integrity of the labor certification process.

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney St. Louis, Missouri


The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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Startups File H1B Visas

1. Introduction
Filing H-1b applications for a startup company can be challenging, but it is also a very creative exercise. I have found filing defensively reduces the chances of an RFE (request for evidence) from USCIS, which sometimes can take as long as an original filing to complete and mail.

2. Difficulties Start-Up Face When Filing H-1Bs
New companies have a hard time proving their existence as an organization. Very often, when you start filing for a new company, they have never dealt with immigration issues in the past; there is a steep learning curve caused by a delayed awareness for the need for technical support workers. New companies have no idea of the complexity and time delays experienced at Department of Labor (DOL) and USCIS, so the first task of the attorney is to educate the company hierarchy. The company needs to appoint one person to disseminate information; that person should also be privy to sensitive investor and financial, as well as technical information, about the company. New companies often do not have hierarchy or an organization chart. These need to be created. Websites describing the company’s process, as well as demonstrating the requirements of the jobs that the company wants to fill, are also useful. If the company advertises on online job search engines detailing job requirements, training and experience are a definite plus.

3. Documentation and Evidentiary Support
Apart from the usual DOL documentation, the new start up has to demonstrate that they are an entity registered with the State and Federal government. As far as filing taxes, quarterly returns and employee annual and quarterly returns are also needed. While it is not necessary to disclose the names and social security numbers of employees, it adds to the case if at least initials of names and last 4 digits are disclosed, along with salary and title of position in a payroll summary. Documentary evidence to demonstrate complexity of the job to be filled can be established by advertisements on online job search engines, press releases, technical screens for potential candidates, as well as detailed job requirements with specific tasks. An organizational chart specifying the supervisor’s ability to hire and fire, which means a description of the supervisor’s job description is very key. Of the usual documentation of educational, experience and other visa related questions need to be answered.

4. Answering the Request for Evidence
My brief remains that properly documented, which means defensively, an initial application should not trigger an RFE. Our task remains to represent the employer petitioner, while making it easier for the adjudicating officer to make a decision to approve our application.

5. Whether or Not to Do Premium Processing
I have often heard that premium processing triggers an RFE. What I have also learnt is that if there is a document list that demonstrates ample, targeted evidence qualifying the employer, the beneficiary and that the job requirements adequately meet statutory needs, we are out of RFE territory. Then the only RFE would be a one liner, which can be quickly answered by sending a fax and shortening the wait time for the approval.

6. Conclusion
Defensively document your client’s application to prevent the issue of an RFE and obtain an approval in record time.

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA

Attorney at Law

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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