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

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Just finished with your seminar and very enlightening, if not altogether disheartening.

Question: You mentioned many jobs that were considered skilled under DOT that now are in Job Zone 2, and thus less than SVP 6.

Cook seems to be one as it is 4 to > 6. First, I presume this means max. exp that can be required is 1 year (not 2 as under DOT). If so, can you just again explain how to get around this. Executive Chef/Head cook is still a 7-8 so I am aware of that. BUT the majority of restaurant cooks are NOT executive level. Can it be they erred??? This is nuts!

Please reply as we do MANY such cases and already have many in the pipeline that will not be happy if they end up in the EW category.

Answer by Joel Stewart:

The "Cook Question" is a very serious one! I think "nuts" is right to what has happened under PERM. All of a sudden, from one day to the next, most of the cooks are downgraded from SVP 6 or 7 to a much lower SVP level. You will need to look at all the SVP descriptions for cooks and culinary persons. Take a look at caterers and foreign specialty cooks. As in the response to some of the questions above, I think that audits are not to be feared as much as everyone thinks, and if you have documentation that you need more than 6-12 months experience for your cook, you can withstand an audit on the issue. Seasoned (no pun intended) practitioners should get together a dossier on minimum requirements for cooks on a national and local level....this could including training programs, cooking institutions, requirements at different kinds of institutions and the employer's own documentation...and you should be able to place many of the cooks in the skilled category. Remember that prior to PERM, the DOL was whittling away at cooks, denigrating them to unskilled worker category because they were cooking common food, like Italian menus, or challenging the type of establishment where the cook would be employed. My guess is that the changes in the O*Net were intended to address these issues.

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