Conversion of Backlogged Labor Certifications

On October 6, 2006, Department of Labor (“DOL”) published an important regulation relating to applications pending at Backlog Elimination Centers (“BEC”).  Under regulations in effect prior to March 28, 2005, most applications were processed under a “Traditional Method” (“TR”) standard.  Under this process, employers’ recruitment was supervised by the local DOL offices in the particular state of filing.  Lengthy processing times were commonplace.   Some applications were filed using the “Reduction-in-Recruitment” (“RIR”) process.  This process allowed employers to complete its’ recruitment prior to filing the labor certification application.  This process significantly reduced processing times for DOL offices.

In  an effort to meet their goal of eliminating all pending applications at the BECs by September, 2007, this new regulation will allow employers to request conversion of any pending TR case to an RIR case, with the exception of any cases at BEC where recruitment (i.e., a job order) has been initiated by the BEC.  DOL will process RIR conversions using the same process it currently uses in the backlog centers.

Our office will be contacting all employers who may have pending TR applications at BECs to discuss moving forward with recruiting for pending cases.  Typical recruiting for an RIR case involves print ads, an in-house posting, and in some cases, web advertising or other sources normal to the industry.

An RIR request is generally submitted with the following:

  • Copies of advertisements (for similar positions at the same location) placed in newspapers, journals and other print sources over the past six months, which include the date of publication and name of the publication.
  • Copy of the mandatory in-house posting
  • Copies of advertisements placed on the internet.
  • Statement of other recruitment efforts over the past six months, including participation in job fairs, use of recruiters, and other sources normal to this occupation.
  • Statement concerning normal recruitment practices for this industry and occupation.
  • Statement that no US workers responded who were able, willing, and qualified for the job opportunity.

After all recruitment efforts are completed, the RIR request can be submitted to the BEC.  They will conduct a wage survey to insure that the wage offer equals or exceeds the prevailing wage for similar positions.  If the Application appears to be in order and the wages offered are sufficient, it is suggested that processing time to final approval may be significantly reduced.