February 18, 2005



FROM:                            Byron Zuidema
                   BYRON ZUIDEMA
                   Regional Administrator

SUBJECT:    Transition Guidance for the Labor Certification Process

1.  Purpose.  To provide State Workforce Agencies with transition guidance for the labor certification process.

2.  References. Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 247, December 27, 2004, pp. 77326-77421 (.pdf); Information Alert 030-05, January 18, 2005; H-1B Visa Reform Act (2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Section 421-430, Pub.L. 108-447).

3.  Links.  This Letter is in the Region 5 website archive at:

4.  Background.  The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is proceeding with a reorganization of its offices, divisons and units to better serve its customers.

Part of this reoganization is a redeployment of Federal staff involved with foreign labor certification. This function has been transferred from the Regional Offices to the Office of National Programs, Division of Foreign Labor Certification (DFLC). The Division has reorganized its foreign labor certification activities in a new structure intended to eliminate the current Permanent Program backlog and implement the new Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system.

The newly created structure is Center-based and includes all program functions and Federal staff that had been residing in ETA Regional Offices. Federal foreign labor certification staff nationwide have been relocated to two Perm Processing Centers located in Atlanta and Chicago.

5.  Substance. The attachment to this Letter contains transition guidance for the labor certification process. State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) will continue to accept permanent applications filed (postmarked) through March 27, 2005. Effective March 28, 2005 and thereafter, employers filing permanent labor certification applications must file with the Atlanta or Chicago Perm Processing Centers. The Chicago Perm Processing Center contact information is as follow:

Chicago Perm Processing Center
844 N. Rush St.
12th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60611

State Workforce Agencies are advised to return to the sender all applications postmarked on or after March 28, 2005.

SWAs will continue to provide prevailing wage determinations, but at four instead of two levels of wages. Employers will be required to offer 100 percent of the prevailing wage. These requirements are part of the H-1B Visa Reform Act.

SWA responsibilities under the temporary non-immigrant H-2A and H-2B programs are unchanged.

6.   Action Required.   State Administrators are requested to share this Letter with appropriate staff and other agencies. 

7.   Inquiries.  Questions or comments concerning the PERM labor certification process may be directed to Questions or comments about the format of this Letter may be directed to Tom Coyne on 312.596.5435.

8. Attachments.

State Workforce Agency Foreign Labor Certification FY 2005 Transition Guidance

9. Effective Date. March 28, 2005

10.  Expiration Date.  Continuing

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