Labor Dept. Proposes Changes to Filing, Processing Procedures for Permanent Labor Certification Applications
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has published a proposed rule that would amend its regulations governing the filing and processing of permanent labor certification applications. The proposed rule would also amend the regulations governing the employer wage obligation under the H-1B program. The new system would require employers to conduct recruitment before filing their applications directly with an ETA application processing center, on forms designed for automated screening and processing. State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) would provide prevailing wage determinations to employers. Employers would be required to place a job order with the SWA, which would be processed the same as any other job order placed by employers. SWAs would no longer be the intake point for submission of applications, and would not be involved in processing as they are now in the present system. The combination of prefiling recruitment, automated processing, and elimination of the processing role of SWAs is expected to yield a large reduction in the average time needed to process labor certification applications, and to eliminate the need to institute special, resource-intensive periodic efforts to reduce recurring backlogs.