The Department of Labor conducted a focus group on 3/11/05 to review the form and filing process for the PERM labor certification program, which takes effect 3/28/05. Representatives of AILA's Labor Department Liaison, PERM Implementation and Business Immigration Committees participated.

Below is a summary of some of the key points that emerged.

Job Orders:

For a job order to be valid, you must have gone through the SWA. A direct posting to America's Job Bank is not sufficient; however, if you went through the SWA's on-line job order placement system (which may, in turn, have put the job onto America's Job Bank), that should meet the regulatory requirement.

Backlog Reduction Centers (BRCs):

DOL hopes to complete the transfers of the existing cases to the BRCs by the end of the fiscal year (9/30/05). Its goal to complete processing of the backlog is 24 to 30 months.


To convert a previously-filed labor certification application to PERM under the re-filing provisions, the two applications must be "identical". Yet, due to variations from region to region and state to state, some contents of previously-filed applications cannot be transferred to the new ETA Form 9089 in identical form. DOL is looking at this problem. But, in the meantime, one possible strategy is to amend the previously-filed application in response to the 45-day letter from the BRC.


A major difference between the LCA system and the PERM electronic filing system is that PERM requires registration (registration is optional under LCA).

Only the employer can register -- not the attorney. The employer may set up sub-accounts for the attorney(s) handling its immigration work, once the employer is registered, but the employer is considered responsible for the labor certification. One corporation can have multiple registrations.

Each attorney will need to have a sub-account in his or her own name. The system will not provide the ability for attorneys to share documents with one another.

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