LABOR CERTIFICATION BACKLOG REDUCTION- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently posted some FAQs on the Backlog Reduction process addressing issues dealing with Reduction In Recruitment (RIR) case processing, Traditional Recruitment (TR) case processing, the issuance of 45-day letters, change of attorney, and etc. We have gone through these FAQ's and summarized them for your reference.

With respect to the First-in First out (FIFO) principle utilized by DOL in processing labor certification cases that have been sent to Backlog Processing Centers (BPC) are RIR cases separated or distinguished from TR cases?
Yes. The DOL will use two processing tracks, RIR and TR. Each track will have a separate FIFO queue and the DOL will allocate sufficient resources to ensure that RIR and TR cases receive equitable Treatment.

Does the 24-30 month processing projection apply to both RIR and TR cases or will RIR cases get some preference?
The DOL will not automatically give preference to RIR cases over TR cases. However, the DOL does anticipate that the processing time for RIR cases will be shorter (presumably because recruitment has already been conducted in RIR cases).

Are cases that are being sent to BPC being assigned new case numbers for tracking purposes or are they retaining the case numbers originally assigned to them by the State Workforce Agencies (SWA) or Regional Offices?
All case are being assigned new case numbers once they are entered into the Permanent Backlog System (PBLS). Once a case has been entered into the PBLS, the BPC will send the employer and attorney of record (if applicable) a letter with a new case number.

When will I receive my 45-day letter?
Due to the large volume of files transferred to the two Backlog Processing Centers, DOL cannot determine when your "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter (CRNL) will be mailed to you. As soon as your case is entered into the U.S. DOL Permanent Backlog System (PBLS), a "45-day" CRNL will be generated and sent to you and your attorney/agent of record, if one exists. Once you receive the "45-day" CRNL, all requested corrections, supporting documents, and the enclosed Selection of Continuation Option Letter must be returned to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center. In the designated space at the bottom of the Selection of Continuation Option Letter, the petitioner should indicate decision as to whether they wish to withdraw this application or they wish to continue the processing of this application with a check mark.

The beneficiary of the labor certification has a child who is about to "age-out," can the DOL expedite this case?
The DOL prohibits the expediting of applications.

The petitioning company has been acquired by another company. The new company wants to continue the petition. What needs to be done?
The new employer must submit a copy of the employer's articles of incorporation, business license, state registration, or other official documents that establish the employer as a bona fide business entity and establishes the legal buyout or "successor in interest" position. In addition, a new Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B must be submitted to the DOL to continue the permanent foreign labor certification process.

The message on my Corrections List states, "The Employer's name/address is not the same on Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B." What do I need to do?
Please refer to item 6 on Form ETA 750 Part A and item 8 on Form ETA 750 Part B. These items must match exactly on your application. Initial and date any corrections you make on your application and return it to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center.

The message on my Corrections List states, "Basic Rate Per is required entry." The amount of pay is included on the application. What's the problem?
Item 12a/b on Form ETA 750 Part A must include both a rate of pay (in dollars and cents) and a period (hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or annually).

Does the BPC case continuance letter need to be signed only by the employer or can the attorney of record sign?
Either the employer or attorney of record may sign. The DOL however requests that the employer coordinate with the attorney to determine who will submit the continuance letter to ensure that the appropriate BPC does not receive duplicate or conflicting responses. In the event of conflicting responses, the BPC will default to the employer's response.

The message on my Corrections List states, "Failed Existence Check: Employer's address/phone number does not reference back to employer's name." What should I do to resolve this problem?
You must submit a copy of the employer's articles of incorporation, business license, state registration, or other official documents that establish the employer as a bona fide business entity at a specific address to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center.

The message on my Corrections List states that, "Consulate Location is a required entry." The beneficiary is currently in the U.S. and will apply for adjustment here. Why must I enter a consulate location?
Entries are needed in items 10a or 10b on Form ETA 750, Part B. Please mark the appropriate box with an (X) and enter a complete city and foreign country (10a) or city and state (10b) on the application. Initial and date any corrections made to your application and then return the application to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center.

The employer has moved to a new address. How should we notify the Backlog Processing Center of this change?
Send the appropriate Backlog Processing Center a written request to return the original Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B. Make the appropriate change of address, date and initial the change, and return the Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center. Employers who have already recruited for the position in a labor market are cautioned that a move to a new work location may require a new labor market test.

Please note that changes, additions, or deletions to the application must be initialed and dated by the employer on Part A and by the beneficiary on Part B. It is unacceptable for the attorney representing the employer and/or beneficiary to make amendments to the Form ETA 750.

The employer has changed names. Do we have to submit a new application or may we change the original application? How should this be done?
The employer must submit a copy of the employer's articles of incorporation, business license, state registration, or other official documents that establish the employer as a bona fide business entity. In addition, a new ETA 750 Part A and Part B must be provided to continue the permanent foreign labor certification process. If the Form ETA 750 Part A and Part B have been returned for correction, the changes may be made on those existing documents.

Please note that the new employer or entity must be connected to the old one (a successor-in-interest) and cannot be an entirely new employer.

Our office recently received a request for "corporate documents" from the BPC. The petition was for a housekeeper. Is this request sent in error or how do we respond?
If the application is for a domestic servant in a private household, the employer should provide a recent tax return and/or leases, utility bills, etc. that establish the domestic employer at the address on the application.

Are all cases filed between 1/1/05 and 3/28/05 to be processed by the BPC rather than the Atlanta or Chicago Processing Centers?
All cases filed between 1/1/05 and postmarked before 3/28/05 will be processed by the Backlog Processing Centers.

Many clients are anxious because we have not received the 45-day letters from the Backlog Processing Centers in connection with their application. How can we follow up on status of cases and at what point should we worry about not getting a letter?
Due to the large volume of files transferred to the two Backlog Processing Centers, DOL cannot determine when your "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter (CRNL) will be mailed to you. As soon as your case is entered into the U.S. DOL Permanent Backlog System (PBLS), a "45-day" CRNL will be generated and sent to you and your attorney/agent of record, if one exists. Once you receive the "45-day" CRNL, all requested corrections, supporting documents, and the enclosed Selection of Continuation Option Letter must be returned to the appropriate Backlog Processing Center within 45 days.

How will RIR and TR priority be handled over PERM cases?
Backlogged cases will be processed in Philadelphia and Dallas. PERM cases will be processed in Chicago and Atlanta.


Will an RIR case that has been pending at the federal level for about 1 year be transferred to the Backlog Center, if there has been no decision or notice of finding issues?
Yes, all outstanding cases will be transferred to the Backlog Processing Centers.

Are all backlogged cases expected to be entered in the database by 3/28/05 so that employers can check status on-line?
DOL was not able to enter all cases into the database by 3/28/05. DOL is currently exploring steps that may be taken to accommodate inquiries regarding case status.

When will the BPC will begin adjudicating cases?
The Backlog Processing Centers have begun to process cases from the Regional Offices that have been completely entered into PBLS and for which the Backlog Processing Center has received a response to the Notification Receipt letter.
When will a public case information system be up and how will we access it?
DOL will be posting dates the Regional Offices and SWA shipped files to the BPCs on the home page of the Division of Foreign Labor Certification which is http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/foreign/contacts.asp.

Once the 45-day letter is received by a backlog center, approximately how soon will labor certification determinations be made?
DOL is unable to provide an exact timeframe for processing cases after the response to the 45-day letter is received. The processing of a case is dependent upon the timely and complete response of the applicant to all issues and to the FIFO status of a case.