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PERM Moves To Publication

The Office of Management and Budget has approved DOL's PERM rule for publication in the Federal Register. The rule likely went for signature to the Assistant Secretary on 12/13, and will likely be sent on 12/14 or 12/15 to the Government Printing Office for publication in the Federal Register. An advance copy for public inspection will likely be available in the next few days. The rule will likely be published late this week or early next week. Based on repeated statements by DOL, we expect PERM to be effective 60 days from publication, i.e. as of mid-February.

The OMB notice on PERM reads (in its entirety) as follows:

Department of Labor

DOL-ETA                      RIN: 1205-AA66
Labor Certification for the Permanent Employment of Aliens in
the United States; Implementation of a New System
RECEIVED:  02/23/2004        LEGAL DEADLINE: None
** COMPLETED: 12/10/2004 Consistent with change
The content of the rule is of course the subject of much speculation, and will not be definitively known until the public inspection copy is made available by GPO. What we can state based on DOL's behavior is that there is likely more than one surprise in the rule (as compared to the proposed rule), and therefore the published rule is likely to be an "interim final rule" not a "final rule" (both kinds have the same impact as far as filing labor cert applications is concerned, the difference is that the interim rule is open for comment and future revision). Of course, we could be wrong, but that is the best assessment we can make at this time. PERM is likely to significantly affect business immigration practice as it unfolds. However, PERM will not be the whole story - the elimination of the SWAs will likely be an even bigger story over the coming year. Joining this chaos will likely be a fair number of lawsuits. Attorneys can prepare their practices for PERM now by reading the definitive article on labor certification "The Lawyer's Guide To 212(a)(5)(A): Labor Certification From 1952 To PERM" by Gary Endelman.

ILW.COM will strive hard to ensure that attorneys can stay on top of PERM and other critical areas of labor cert practice through its seminars. For more info on the current labor cert seminar, see:

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