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Listserv Q&A for
"Filing PERM Cases For Advanced Practitioners"

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The question states whether the job opportunity's requirements are "normal" for the occupation. The question does not state whether the requirements exceed the ONET or Job Zone codes.

How do we define normal? Is normal requirements defined merely from Onet and the Job Zones or do we consider the past history of the occupation in the industry or employer. Until March 28, 2005, the DOL agreed that normal could be the requirement of a Masters degree and three years of experience (or a BS plus 5) for a Software Engineer.

By checking yes we may be triggering an audit in each and every case filed for Software Engineer.

Any thoughts on this subject?

Answer by Joel Stewart:

The regulations state that "normal" are the requirements in the O-Net. Unfortunately, some job titles have been downgraded to a lowr SVP in the transition from DOT to SOC. The downgrades are so wide-spread that my guess is the DOL will be more reasonable than in the past to accept business necessity documentation. The way you should approach this (assuming a real job with real requirements) is to document why the employer needs a Masters plus three or a BS plus 5 (or whatever combination you come up with), place the documentation in the file, and answer that the requirements are NOT normal. An audit is not the end of the world -- think of it as a remand for additional information. If you have the documentation, they should approve it, especially if the job is one that was recently downgraded. Meanwhile, I believe that many forces will be at work to get DOL to reconsider or reclassify the downgraded jobs. Everyone is up in arms about this. Look at -- this is a non-immigration group that is furious about the mixup in the O*Net!