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	[Federal Register: March 5, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 44)]
[Notices]               
[Page 11954-11956]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr05mr08-104]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration

 
Non-Electronic Filing of Applications for Permanent and Temporary 
Foreign Labor Certification

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announces 
administrative changes in the locations where future non-electronic 
applications must be filed under the permanent foreign labor 
certification program and temporary foreign labor certification 
programs administered by the ETA's Office of Foreign Labor 
Certification (OFLC).

DATES: This Notice is effective on June 1, 2008. Beginning June 16, 
2008, applications and attestations filed non-electronically with the 
incorrect National Processing Center or the National OFLC will be 
returned to the filer for proper submission.

ADDRESSES: 
    Atlanta NPC: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training 
Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 
Peachtree Street, NE., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, telephone: 
(404) 893-0101, facsimile: (404) 893-4642, help desk e-mail: 
plc.atlanta@dol.gov.
    Chicago NPC: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training 
Administration, Chicago National Processing Center, 844 North Rush 
Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611, telephone: (312) 886-8000, 
facsimile: (312) 353-3352, help desk e-mail: plc.chicago@dol.gov.
    OFLC National Office: Temporary Programs Manager, Office of Foreign 
Labor Certification, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, 
NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-3010. The 
above telephone and facsimile numbers are not toll-free.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William L. Carlson, PhD., 
Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, U.S. Department 
of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 
20210, telephone: (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The OFLC provides national leadership and policy guidance, and 
develops regulations and administrative procedures to carry out the 
responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor under the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA) concerning foreign workers seeking admission to 
the United States in order to work under the labor certification 
programs authorized by the INA. In December 2004, OFLC opened two 
National Processing Centers (NPCs), one each located in Atlanta and 
Chicago, as part of a long-term strategy to streamline, re-engineer, 
and centralize labor certification processes that historically were 
fragmented, duplicative, lengthy, and unduly burdensome. These Centers 
currently process labor certification applications filed by, or on 
behalf of, employers seeking to employ foreign workers in the U.S. 
under the permanent labor certification program and temporary 
nonimmigrant H-2A and H-2B programs, including certain applications 
which have required special handling. In addition, the National OFLC 
receives and processes labor certification applications for certain 
other classes of temporary nonimmigrant programs, such as those for D-1 
crewmembers performing longshore work, emergency boilermakers, 
professional athletes, and H-1C nurses in health professional shortage 
areas. Employers file many of the forms and applications under such 
programs with the Department of Labor electronically, but some forms 
and applications continue to be filed non-electronically.
    The purpose of this Notice is to update the filing instructions for 
labor certification applications in the permanent and temporary labor 
certification programs, in light of the Department's continuing efforts 
to make its processing of applications as efficient and effective as is 
appropriate. Further, this Notice announces the Department's decision 
to centralize the processing of permanent applications in the Atlanta 
NPC and the processing of temporary program applications in the Chicago 
NPC. Labor certification applications filed by, or on behalf of, 
employers in the following programs will be affected by this Notice:

[[Page 11955]]

A. Immigrant Program

     Permanent Labor Certification Program
    Certain employment-based immigrant programs provide a means for 
employers to employ foreign nationals to work permanently in the United 
States. Before filing an immigrant petition with the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) to sponsor a foreign worker for employment in 
certain employment-based immigrant visa categories, employers must 
first apply with the Secretary of Labor for a certification that: (1) 
There are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, 
and available to perform the work and (2) employment of the foreign 
worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of 
similarly employed U.S. workers. 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)(A); 20 CFR part 
656.

B. Nonimmigrant Programs

     D-1 Temporary Program
    The D-1 nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers to 
import foreign nationals on a temporary basis as crewmembers to perform 
longshore activities at U.S. ports, including locations in the State of 
Alaska. Before filing a D-1 petition for nonimmigrant work with the 
DHS, an employer must first file with the Secretary of Labor an 
attestation as to certain criteria required of the employer and the job 
opportunity. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(D)(i) and 1288; 20 CFR part 655, 
subparts F and G.
     H-1B Temporary Program
    The H-1B nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers 
to import foreign nationals on a temporary basis to perform services in 
a specialty occupation or as a fashion model. Before filing an H-1B 
petition for a nonimmigrant worker with the DHS, an employer must first 
file with the Secretary of Labor a labor condition application as to 
certain criteria required of the employer and the job opportunity. 8 
U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and 1182(n); 20 CFR part 655, subparts H 
and I.
     H-1B1 Temporary Program
    The H-1B1 nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers 
to import nationals of Chile and Singapore to perform services in a 
specialty occupation. Before filing an H-1B1 petition for a 
nonimmigrant worker with DHS, an employer must first file with the 
Secretary of Labor an attestation as to certain criteria required of 
the employer and the job opportunity. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) 
and 1182(t); 20 CFR part 655, subparts H and I.
     E-3 Temporary Program
    The E-3 nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers to 
import foreign nationals of Australia to perform services in a 
specialty occupation. Before filing an E-3 petition for a nonimmigrant 
worker with DHS, an employer must first file with the Secretary of 
Labor an attestation as to certain criteria required of the employer 
and the job opportunity. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) and 1182(t); 20 
CFR part 655, subparts H and I.
     H-1C Temporary Program
    The H-1C nonimmigrant program provides a means for certain 
facilities to import foreign workers on a temporary basis to perform 
services as registered nurses in health professional shortage areas. 
Before filing an H-1C petition for a nonimmigrant worker with DHS, an 
employer must first file with the Secretary of Labor an attestation as 
to certain criteria required of the facility and the job opportunity. 8 
U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) and 1182(m); 20 CFR part 655, subparts L 
and M.
     H-2A Temporary Labor Certification Program
    The H-2A nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers 
to employ foreign workers on a temporary or seasonal basis to perform 
agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. 
Before filing an H-2A petition for a nonimmigrant worker with DHS, an 
employer must first apply with the Secretary of Labor for a 
certification that: (1) There are not sufficient U.S. workers who are 
able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the labor or 
services; and (2) employment of the foreign worker will not adversely 
affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. 
workers. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) and 1188; 20 CFR part 655, 
subpart B; see also 29 CFR part 501.
     H-2B Temporary Labor Certification Program
    The H-2B nonimmigrant program provides a means for U.S. employers 
to employ foreign workers on a temporary basis to perform non-
agricultural services or labor, if unemployed U.S. workers are 
unavailable. Before filing an H-2B petition for nonimmigrant worker 
with DHS, an employer (other than in Guam) must first apply with the 
Secretary of Labor or the Governor of Guam for a certification that: 
(1) U.S. workers capable of performing the temporary labor or services 
are not available; and (2) employment of the foreign worker will not 
adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed 
U.S. workers. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) and 1184(c)(1); and 20 CFR 
part 655, subparts A and C; see also 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6).

II. Administrative Changes to Filing Locations

    The Department is announcing administrative changes in the 
locations where future applications must be filed under the permanent 
labor certification program and certain temporary foreign labor 
certification programs administered by the OFLC. The Atlanta NPC will 
receive all applications for permanent labor certification under the 
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) System, and the Chicago NPC 
will receive all applications for temporary labor certification under 
the programs as identified below. Beginning on the effective date of 
this Notice, the National OFLC will no longer receive any foreign labor 
certification applications. Centralizing the filing of labor 
certification applications and specializing each NPC will increase 
operational efficiencies in each program, improve customer service that 
reduces confusion with respect to where permanent and temporary labor 
certification applications should be filed, enhance efforts to combat 
fraud and abuse within and across each program, and promote greater 
consistency and uniformity in the adjudication of labor certification 
applications.
    For the first 15 calendar days after the effective date of this 
Notice, applications and attestations filed with the incorrect NPC or 
OFLC National Office will be forwarded to the correct NPC. However, 
beginning Monday, June 16, 2008, applications and attestations filed 
with the incorrect NPC or OFLC National Office will be returned to the 
filer for proper filing.

A. Application Filings With the Atlanta NPC

Permanent Labor Certification Program
    General: The Department strongly encourages employers to file PERM 
applications using the Permanent Online System at http://
www.plc.doleta.gov. Effective June 1, 2008, employers who do not wish 
to file online must mail their PERM applications directly to the 
Atlanta NPC.
    Professional Athletes: There are special procedures for the 
permanent employment of immigrant professional athletes. Effective June 
1, 2008, employers must file PERM applications under the special 
procedures for professional athletes directly with the Atlanta NPC.

[[Page 11956]]

B. Application Filings With the Chicago NPC

1. D-1 Temporary Program
    General: Effective June 1, 2008, employers must file Attestations 
for D-1 Nonimmigrant Crewmembers performing longshore activities 
directly with the Chicago NPC.
2. H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Temporary Nonimmigrant Programs
    General: Except as authorized below, employers must continue to 
file H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) using the 
LCA Online System at http://www.lca.doleta.gov. Effective June 1, 2008, 
employers with physical disabilities authorized by the OFLC National 
Office to file LCAs using U.S. mail must file directly with the Chicago 
NPC.
3. H-1C Temporary Program
    General: Effective June 1, 2008, employers must file Attestations 
for H-1C Nonimmigrant Nurses directly with the Chicago NPC.
4. H-2A Temporary Labor Certification Program
    General: Effective June 1, 2008, employers must file applications 
for H-2A temporary labor certification concurrently with the Chicago 
NPC and the State Workforce Agency (SWA) serving the area of intended 
employment. If a fixed-site employer has one or more worksites in the 
same area of intended employment, and the area of intended employment 
lies in the jurisdiction of more than one SWA, the employer must file a 
single application concurrently with the Chicago NPC and the SWA in the 
State where the work will begin.
5. H-2B Temporary Labor Certification Program
    General: Employers must continue to file applications for H-2B 
temporary labor certification (including those filed for tree planting 
and related reforestation activities) with the SWA serving the area of 
intended employment. If an employer has one or more worksites in the 
same area of intended employment (i.e., Metropolitan Statistical Area), 
and the area of intended employment lies in the jurisdiction of more 
than one SWA, the employer may file a single application with the SWA 
in the State where the work will begin. However, for all applications 
filed with the SWA on or after June 1, 2008, the SWA must send 
completed applications to the Chicago NPC.
    i. Logging: Employers must continue to file applications with their 
respective SWAs for temporary labor certification for the logging 
industry, i.e., Maine, New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont SWA. 
However, for all applications filed with the SWA on or after June 1, 
2008, the SWA must send the completed applications directly to the 
Chicago NPC.
    ii. Entertainers: Employers must continue to file applications for 
H-2B temporary labor certification with the SWA Offices Specializing in 
Entertainment (OSEs) in Austin, New York, or Sacramento. After 
processing, the SWA OSE must continue to send all completed 
applications to the Chicago NPC.
    iii. Emergency boilermaker applications and professional athletes: 
Effective June 1, 2008, employers must file applications for H-2B 
temporary labor certification for emergency boilermakers and 
professional athletes directly with the Chicago NPC.

III. Administrative Changes in Requesting Withdrawals

    Beginning June 1, 2008, all requests for withdrawals of PERM 
applications must be submitted to the Atlanta NPC. All requests for 
withdrawals of LCAs, labor certifications for H-2A or H-2B, or H-1C 
attestations that cannot be made electronically must be submitted to 
the Chicago NPC.

    Authority: Employment and Training Order No. 2-05, June 22, 
2005; 70 FR 39386 (July 7, 2005).

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 25th day of February, 2008.
Douglas F. Small,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
[FR Doc. E8-4119 Filed 3-4-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P




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