Rules for Labor Certification Amended.

The Department of Labor has amended its regulations with respect to the permanent labor certification process for the employment of foreign citizens in the United States. This Final Rule includes several major provisions. It prohibits the substitution of foreign citizen beneficiaries on permanent labor certification applications and resulting certifications. The Final Rule provides a 180-day validity period for approved labor certifications; employers will have 180 calendar days within which to file an approved permanent labor certification in support of a Form I–140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The rule also prohibits the sale, barter or purchase of permanent labor certifications and applications.

In addition, this rule requires employers to pay the costs of preparing, filing and obtaining certification. An employer’s transfer to the foreign citizen of the employer’s costs incurred in the labor certification or application process is strictly prohibited. The rule makes clear a foreign citizen may pay his or her own legitimate costs in the permanent labor certification process, including attorneys’ fees for representation. The rule also reinforces existing law pertaining to the submission of fraudulent or false information and clarifies current DOL procedures for responding to incidents of possible fraud. Finally, the rule establishes procedures for debarment from the permanent labor certification program.

The provisions in this Final Rule apply to permanent labor certification applications and approved certifications filed under both the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) program regulation effective March 28, 2005, and prior regulations implementing the permanent labor certification program. This rule also clarifies the Department’s ‘‘no modifications’’ policy for applications filed on or after March 28, 2005, under the new, streamlined PERM process. This Final Rule is effective July 16, 2007. Read the complete Final Rule.