Labor Dept. To Modernize PERM Recruitment and Application Requirements
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a fact sheet announcing that it will review the PERM labor certification program and relevant regulations with a goal of updating them. DOL noted that it 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.
DOL recently marked the 10th anniversary of the PERM regulations, which govern the labor certification process for the permanent employment of immigrant foreign workers and establish responsibilities of participating employers. The DOL said it has not comprehensively examined and modified the permanent labor certification requirements and process since their inception. 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.
As part of the new review, DOL will seek input on the current PERM regulations, including how they can be modernized to be more responsive to changes in the national workforce. Specifically, DOL will seek input on 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 ensure that PERM positions are fully open to U.S. workers;
- Ranges of case processing time frames and possibilities for premium processing; and
- Application submission and review processes and the feasibility of efficiently addressing nonmaterial errors.
DOL's Employment and Training Administration may also examine other aspects of the existing PERM regulations to further align the program design with the objectives of the U.S. immigration system and the needs of workers and employers, and to enhance the integrity of the labor certification process.
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