With the Coronavirus pandemic in full swing and social-distancing measures in place, employers who are in the process of completing a permanent labor certification application with the Department of Labor (DOL) might wonder how they can successfully navigate these hurdles granted that the process must be completed within a strict time frame.
This also means that for those who aren’t already working with an agency that specializes in immigration advertising, now is the time to reach out. Only professionals who specialize in the full immigration ads process will be fully equipped to help their clients successfully navigate guideline changes and obstacles to posting around this difficult time, and have the knowledge and expertise that employers need to ensure that they get that approval.
The good news is that for anybody who has been caught in the lurch in their application process by the outbreak of COVID-19 and it’s myriad implications, the DOL has announced that it will be relaxing certain filing rules for both its temporary and permanent application programs.
Here is where anybody who is working through or planning to open up a PERM application in the near future can find some respite from the usual strict requirements.
1. Extended Response Time Will be Granted for Certain Prevailing Wage Determination Inquiries
For labor certification and prevailing wage determination inquiries, those whose deadline falls between March 13, 2020, and May 12, 2020, will receive an automatic deadline extension. The new deadline in all of these cases will now be May 12, 2020.
Here are the specific circumstances where the deadline extension applies:
- Audit documentation requests
- Notice of Deficiency responses
- Sponsorship documentation
- Recruitment report submissions
- Business verifications
- Requests for supervised recruitment
- Reconsideration of a prevailing wage determination requests
- Request for any information that has been issued by OFLC and contains a due date
Keep in mind though, that this deadlines extension only applies to those whose deadlines fall strictly on or between the dates listed above. If this isn’t the case, assume that regular deadline protocol should be followed for the time being. There are more initial PERM application deadlines also listed below.
In addition, those hoping to file a PERM appeal on a previous decision will need to directly request a deadline extension through the DOL Office of Administrative Law Judges. A firm specializing in immigration labor advertising can help clear up any confusion about deadline criteria.
2. Automatic Deadline Extensions Are Also Applied for Responses to Inquiries by the DOL
Those who have been asked to respond to the Department of Labor inquiries can count on a 60-day extension for the Notice of Filing Window and PERM recruitment deadline. Meanwhile, those needing to post labor condition applications (LCA) at a new worksite will also get 30 days more to do so.
These provisions apply mostly to workers who are being sponsored for PERM application or professionals working under E-3, H-1B or H-1B1 status. However, some of these deadline extensions might also be applicable to certain components of H-2A and H-2B applications as well.
For anybody who isn’t sure whether any of these extensions apply to their unique situation, an agency that specializes in immigration ads can help.
3. Extensions Will be Granted for the 180-day PERM Recruitment Window
Anybody filing for a PERM application by May 12, 2020, will have 60 extra days to fulfill all the requirements that must normally be filed within a strict 180-day window.
Normally, anybody filing a PERM application has to begin fulfilling the recruitment measures within a 180-day timeframe before filing and have at least all but one measure completed 30 days before they file. For those filing before May 12, they will now have a 240-day window to complete the requirements. However, in order to meet the criteria for the extension, recruitment efforts must have first been started somewhere between September 15, 2019, and March 13, 2020, with plans of filing on and before May 12.
For the time being, it is best to assume that the 30-day recruitment-free window before filing still applies.
Keep in mind that even with the extension, social limitations imposed by Coronavirus might still make it more difficult than normal to fulfill the requirements of an already incredibly complicated process. If not already working with a professional agent who specializes in immigration advertising to ensure that PERM requirements are properly fulfilled, now is a good time to reach out.
4. PERM Notice of Filing Extensions Will Also be Granted
Much like the PERM recruitment guidelines referenced above, the DOL also normally grants applicants a 180-day window to post a PERM Notice of Filing with the purpose of notifying their workforce that they will be filing a permanent labor application.
The window is typically the same as that of the full recruitment window detailed below, and this requirement must be fulfilled within 180-30 days before filing the application. However, due to the prevalence of workplace interruptions, this deadline will also be extended to include notices posted up to 60 days after the 180-day deadline passes.
Similar to above, this provision only applies to applications where recruitment began between September 15, 2019, and March 13, 2020.
5. Extensions for LCA Notice of Filing
Finally, deadlines will be extended for employers needing to fulfill their LCA posting requirements in situations where H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 employees have to change worksites.
In normal circumstances, the notice would have to be made either before or the day that the worksite change takes place, but in this exceptional situation, employers may now post the notice of filing up to 30 days after the worker in question starts working at the new site.
There are also situations where the electronic notification will now be permitted in place of the usual hard copy notification standards.
For any employer already going through the very complex and time-consuming process of a permanent labor application, these new deadline extensions can be helpful, but they also might add more confusion to an already incredibly intense process.
Working with an agency that specializes in immigration advertising is one of the best ways to avoid major headaches, save valuable time and resources and maximize the chances of obtaining a favorable result. Be sure to reach out to them today to find out more.