On March 20, 2020, DOL initially relaxed its related filing rules due to the challenges facing businesses during the COVID pandemic. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has confirmed that it will not extend this policy. This means that employers will no longer have more time to respond to DOL inquiries and an additional 60 day to file certain PERM applications where recruitment efforts could not be completed within the 180-day regulatory window.

PERM is the procedure for applying for labor certification.  As a first step, the employer is required to show that it could not find a ready, willing and able U.S. worker for the position.  This step involves working closely with your HR department and legal counsel to post advertisements per the Department of Labor’s regulations. Generally speaking, the recruitment process lasts at least 8 weeks and during the recruitment process, the company should collect and review all applications received for the position and make a good faith attempt to evaluate the applicants. The more specialized the foreign national is, the more of a chance that this condition will be satisfied as less applicants will be qualified. To learn more about employment based green cards, please click here.

DOL did note that employers needing more time to respond to inquiries may request an extension of time to respond, provided that DOL receives the request on or before the deadline. Requests will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, and therefore should clearly articulate the need for an extension. DOL stated that extensions cannot be guaranteed.

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