Information Regarding the Transfer of Temporary Program Cases to the Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers, the Processing Locations for Foreign Labor Certification Applications Filed With State Workforce Agencies and the Department of Labor, and the Filing of Applications for Certification Under the E-3 Worker Visa Program, 41430-41438 [05-14120]

Download as PDF 41430 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Information Regarding the Transfer of Temporary Program Cases to the Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers, the Processing Locations for Foreign Labor Certification Applications Filed With State Workforce Agencies and the Department of Labor, and the Filing of Applications for Certification Under the E–3 Worker Visa Program Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department or DOL) is issuing this notice to clarify the locations where applications may be filed and are being processed, respectively, for the permanent labor certification and major temporary foreign labor certification programs administered by ETA’s Division of Foreign Labor Certification; to clarify key procedures within each program that may be impacted by ETA’s transition from region-based to centerbased review; and to provide initial guidance for employers filing applications for certification under the new E–3 worker visa program for Australian professionals seeking to temporarily work in the United States. Recent reforms in several of these programs, as well as the streamlining and centralization of operations and filing procedures to better serve the needs of stakeholders, have required periodic changes to filing locations. This notice describes and further clarifies current filing requirements for each major program. A chart attached to this notice provides users with a convenient, one-stop reference on program-specific filing requirements. This chart will be updated and published in the Federal Register and posted on DOL’s Web site. DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective immediately. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Carlson, Chief, Division of Foreign Labor Certification, U.S. Department of Labor, Room C–4312, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 202–693–3010 (this is not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To enhance effectiveness and eliminate undue burden on program users, the Department has reformed its process to VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 issue permanent labor certifications and continues to review and strengthen its various temporary labor certification programs, primarily those leading to H– 1B, H–1B1, H–2B, and H–2A worker visas. The Department’s long-term goal is to streamline, automate, and centralize operations and processes that may have been duplicative, lengthy, or unduly burdensome. Ongoing and proposed changes are designed to improve the efficiency and integrity of each program. The purpose of this notice is threefold. First, the notice seeks to update the filing instructions for applications to the temporary labor certification programs, in light of the Department’s plans to transfer the Federal processing responsibility related to H–2A and H–2B program applications, as well as applications requiring special handling, to its National Processing Centers located in Atlanta and Chicago. Accordingly, much of the information below related to these applications is new. Second, the notice seeks to present— clearly, briefly, and in a single document—basic filing instructions for key labor certification programs, including the permanent program. In the context of significant changes to labor certification operations and activities, the Department believes stakeholders would benefit from summarized, organized guidance that establishes a baseline for filings going forward. In those cases in which guidance is unchanged—notably, for the permanent program—this notice restates the instructions that have been provided in recent guidance but, for clarity, refers back to each of the notices originally published. As an aid, this notice attaches a chart, which the Department will update as needed, for use as a onestop reference on filing requirements for each of the programs listed below. Third, the Department seeks to provide initial guidance governing the filing of applications for labor certification under the E–3 worker visa program. H–1B and H–1B1 Temporary Professional Workers Application submission: Labor Condition Applications filed under the H–1B program, as well as the H–1B1 program created pursuant to legislation implementing the United States-Chile and United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreements, may be filed electronically, by U.S. Mail, or by facsimile. Employers complete an electronic Labor Condition Application (LCA) through DOL’s Foreign Labor Certification LCA Online System at http://www.lca.doleta.gov. In PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 addition, employers nationwide may mail or fax LCAs on ETA Form 9035 to ETA’s Backlog Elimination Center in Philadelphia, as follows: ETA Backlog Elimination Center, P.O. Box 13640, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101; (800) 397–0478 (fax). Employers wishing to withdraw a Labor Condition Application may do so by contacting the ETA National Office as noted below. In addition, the Department has proposed to require electronic filing of H–1B/H–1B1 applications in most instances. See 70 FR 16774. A printable copy of the ETA Form 9035 is available at http:// atlas.doleta.gov/foreign/ preh1BForm.asp. See 20 CFR part 655 subpart H, 69 FR 69412, and the Department’s website, http:// www.doleta.gov/business/gw/guestwkr, for additional details on H–1B and H– 1B1 filing requirements and use of this form. Seventh-year extensions: Employers are asked to e-mail any and all inquiries regarding seventh-year H–1B extensions to the Backlog Elimination Center where their permanent labor certification case is pending. Inquiries may be submitted to the Philadelphia Backlog Elimination Center at h1b7yr@phi.dflc.us, and to the Dallas Backlog Elimination Center at h1b7yr@dal.dflc.us. Please see http:// atlas.doleta.gov/foreign/times.asp for a display of the SWA case shipping schedule and respective Center locations. H–2B Temporary Nonagricultural Program Application Submission: Employers continue to file an ETA 750, Part A, Application for Alien Employment Certification with the State Workforce Agency serving the area of intended employment. State Workforce Agencies will continue their traditional practice of review and recruitment oversight. Note: State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), effective Monday, July 18, 2005, will send processed H–2B applications to the corresponding National Processing Center instead of an ETA Regional Office or Backlog Elimination Center. In other words, all H–2B applications, once reviewed by the SWA, will be sent to either the Atlanta or Chicago National Processing Center. Current state processing time requirements remain unchanged. State distribution: Each Center will accept applications corresponding to the areas of intended employment listed below. Atlanta National Processing Center: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, NE., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; Phone: (404) 893–0101; Fax: (404) 893–4642. Chicago National Processing Center: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Guam. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Chicago National Processing Center, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Phone: (312) 886–8000; Fax: (312) 886–1688. This process does not apply to H–2B applications for boilermakers, entertainers, logging, and professional team sports, which are treated separately below. Boilermakers and professional team sports: The H–2B filing process for professional team sport applications and emergency applications for boilermakers shall continue unchanged, i.e., employers will continue to submit these applications to ETA’s National Office for processing. Questions regarding applications on these job classifications may be addressed to: Leticia Sierra, Manager, Temporary Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Foreign Labor Certification, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C–4312, Washington, DC 20210. (202) 693–3010 (this is not a toll-free number). Entertainers: The Federal review process for H–2B entertainers shall change effective July 18, 2005. Employers will continue to file applications with state Offices Specializing in Entertainment (OSEs) in Austin, New York, and Sacramento. However, rather than forward applications to ETA Regional Offices in New York, Dallas, and San Francisco, these state offices will now send applications to the Chicago Processing Center for a determination, as noted below: VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 H–2B entertainers previously sent to: . New York City Regional Office. Dallas Regional Office. San Francisco Regional Office. Send to: Chicago National Processing Center. Chicago National Processing Center. Chicago National Processing Center. Applications for the Logging Industry: Employers and/or agents should continue to submit applications to their respective State Workforce Agencies, i.e., Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. However, effective July 18, 2005, SWA staff must forward processed applications to the Atlanta National Processing Center rather than to the ETA Boston Regional Office. Processing time requirements remain unchanged. Previously sent to: Boston Regional Office. Send to: Atlanta National Processing Center. Inquiries (all H–2B applications): Employers and/or agents having questions regarding the status of their H–2B application(s) should use the contact information noted for the Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers. H–2A Temporary Agricultural Program Centralizing H–2A Federal Review: State Workforce Agencies will continue their current responsibilities with respect to the receipt and processing of H–2A applications. These responsibilities include prevailing wage/prevailing practice surveys, recruitment of domestic workers, and housing inspections. Effective August 1, 2005, employers will file original copies of their H–2A applications directly with either the National Processing Centers in Atlanta and Chicago, depending on area of intended employment, and simultaneously file a copy with the appropriate SWA. The SWAs will coordinate all activities regarding the processing of the H–2A applications with the appropriate National Processing Center for their jurisdiction, as noted above. Specifically, SWAs currently sending H–2A applications to the following ETA offices should send materials bearing on each application—including housing inspection results, prevailing wage surveys, and prevailing practice surveys—as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41431 H–2A applications previously sent to: Send to: San Francisco Regional Office. Seattle Regional Office. Denver Regional Office. Dallas Regional Office (Backlog Center). Chicago Regional Office. Boston Regional Office. New York Regional Office. Philadelphia Regional Office (Backlog Center). Atlanta Regional Office. Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center H–2A program fees previously sent to: Send to: San Francisco Regional Office. Seattle Regional Office. Denver Regional Office. Dallas Regional Office (Backlog Center). Chicago Regional Office. Boston Regional Office. New York Regional Office. Philadelphia Regional Office (Backlog Center). Atlanta Regional Office. Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Chicago National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center Atlanta National Processing Center E–3 Professional Workers (Australia) The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005, Public Law 109–13, was signed by the President on May 11, 2005. The Act established a new nonimmigrant visa category for Australian professionals seeking to work in the United States. The Act provides for 10,500 new visas per fiscal year for Australian nationals seeking temporary work in ‘‘specialty occupations,’’ as defined under the H–1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The statute requires that sponsoring employers file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. To certify a position for E–3 status, the Department must find—and certify to the Departments of Homeland Security and State—that the employer’s attestations meet the requirements of E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 41432 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices INA § 212(t)(1), the section governing labor certifications for the H–1B1 program. The Department is coordinating with other Federal agencies with an interest or potential role in the E–3 program to determine and issue further guidance on the specific parameters of the program and how the program will be administered. In the interim, the Department recommends employers seeking to sponsor workers under the E– 3 category: • Use Form ETA 9035, Labor Condition Application for H–1B & H– 1B1 Nonimmigrants, to request certification under the E–3 program. • Print ‘‘E–3—Australia—to be processed’’ at the top of each page of the form. Please print legibly and use blue or black ink. • File the completed LCA with the Department of Labor’s National Office. Questions regarding E–3 Labor Condition Applications may be addressed to: Leticia Sierra, Manager, Temporary Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Foreign Labor Certification, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C–4312, Washington, DC 20210; (202) 693–3010 (this is not a toll-free number). Permanent Labor Certification Program New regulations, effective March 28, 2005, implement a reengineered permanent labor certification program through the use of a new Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system. See 69 FR 77326. Employers requesting labor certifications for the permanent employment of aliens under this new regulation must use a new ETA Form 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification, which they must file directly with DOL either electronically or by U.S. Mail to the appropriate National Processing Center. The Department will not accept applications submitted by facsimile. Permanent program applications are processed at DOL’s National Processing Centers, located in Atlanta and Chicago. The Department opened these centers in December 2004 to review applications filed under the PERM system. The National Processing Centers will also process applications filed under the previous regulation that meet the VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 refiling requirements of the new program. See 20 CFR 656.17(d). Electronic applications: For faster processing, the Department encourages employers to file applications using the Permanent Online System at http:// www.plc.doleta.gov. After employers register and establish an account, they or their representatives (for whom they have established a subaccount) can proceed to complete the application electronically. An application filed electronically will be immediately routed to the National Processing Center responsible for the geographic area serving the area of intended employment. Mailed applications: Employers electing to file non-electronically must submit applications in accordance with the guidance published previously in the Federal Register governing which states correspond to which National Processing Center and restated below. See 70 FR 6734. The PERM application must be mailed to the National Processing Center listed below that covers the state or territory in which the area of intended employment is located, as identified below. Atlanta National Processing Center: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, NE., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; Phone: (404) 893–0101. Fax: (404) 893–4642. Chicago National Processing Center: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Guam U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Chicago National Processing Center, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60611; Phone: (312) 886–8000; Fax: (312) 353–3352. Applications submitted under the permanent labor certification regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005: Applications for permanent labor certification filed under the regulation in effect until March 28, 2005, are being processed in either one of two Backlog Elimination Centers established by the Department in Dallas and Philadelphia, based upon the state in which the area of intended employment is located. Previously filed applications pending in SWA offices or DOL Regional Offices have been transferred for centralized processing in Dallas and Philadelphia. Please see http://atlas.doleta.gov/ foreign/times.asp for a display of the SWA case shipping schedule and respective Center locations. Philadelphia Backlog Elimination Center: Same states as covered by the Atlanta National Processing Center, ETA/DFLC Backlog Elimination Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004; (484) 270–1500 (phone); (484) 270–1600 (fax). Dallas Backlog Elimination Center: Same states as covered by the Chicago National Processing Center, ETA/DFLC Backlog Elimination Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 400 N, Dallas, Texas 75201; (214) 237–9111 (phone); (214) 237–9135 (fax). Professional team sports: The DOL ETA National Office will continue to process employer applications for certification of permanent positions in professional team sports. For all other Foreign Labor Certification Program matters, e.g., PERM Schedule A and Sheepherders, etc., please forward questions to the ETA National Office at the address noted above. For additional information on requirements for filing applications under the PERM program and a listing of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for both PERM and backlogged application processing, please see http://atlas.doleta.gov/foreign. Signed in Washington, DC this 13th day of July, 2005. Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration. BILLING CODE 4510–30–U E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 41433 EN19JY05.020</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices VerDate jul<14>2003 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 EN19JY05.021</GPH> 41434 VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 41435 EN19JY05.022</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices VerDate jul<14>2003 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 EN19JY05.023</GPH> 41436 VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1 41437 EN19JY05.024</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices 41438 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 137 / Tuesday, July 19, 2005 / Notices [FR Doc. 05–14120 Filed 7–18–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–30–C DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment Standards Administration; Wage and Hour Division Minimum Wages for Federal and Federally Assisted Construction; General Wage Determination Decisions General wage determination decisions of the Secretary of Labor are issued in accordance with applicable law and are based on the information obtained by the Department of Labor from its study of local wage conditions and data made available from other sources. They specify the basic hourly wage rates and fringe benefits which are determined to be prevailing for the described classes of laborers and mechanics employed on construction projects of a similar character and in the localities specified therein. The determinations in these decisions of prevailing rates and fringe benefits have been made in accordance with 29 CFR part 1, by authority of the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act of March 3, 1931, as amended (46 Stat. 1494, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 276a) and of other Federal statutes referred to in 29 CFR part 1, Appendix, as well as such additional statutes as may from time to time be enacted containing provisions for the payment of wages determined to be prevailing by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act. The prevailing rates and fringe benefits determined in these decisions shall, in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing statutes, constitute the minimum wages payable on Federal and federally assisted construction projects to laborers and mechanics of the specified classes engaged on contract work of the character and in the localities described therein. Good cause is hereby found for not utilizing notice and public comment procedure thereon prior to the issuance of these determinations as prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 553 and not providing for delay in the effective date as prescribed in that section, because the necessity to issue current construction industry wage determinations frequently and in large volume causes procedures to be impractical and contrary to the public interest. General wage determination decisions, and modifications and supersedeas decisions thereto, contain no expiration dates and are effective from the date of notice in the Federal VerDate jul<14>2003 17:15 Jul 18, 2005 Jkt 205001 Register, or on the date written notice is received by the agency, whichever is earlier. These decisions are to be used in accordance with the provisions of 29 CFR parts 1 and 5. Accordingly, the applicable decision, together with any modifications issued, must be made a part of every contract for performance of the described work within the geographic area indicated as required by an applicable Federal prevailing wage law and 29 CFR part 5. The wage rates and fringe benefits notice of which is published herein, and which are contained in the Government Printing Office (GPO) document entitled ‘‘General Wage Determinations Issued Under The Davis-Bacon And Related Acts,’’ shall be the minimum paid by contractors and subcontractors to laborers and mechanics. Any person, organization, or governmental agency having an interest in the rates determined as prevailing is encouraged to submit wage rate and fringe benefit information for consideration by the Department. Further information and selfexplanatory forms for the purpose of submitting this data may be obtained by writing to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, Division of Wage Determinations, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S–3014, Washington, DC 20210. Modification to General Wage Determination Decisions The number of decisions listed to the Government Printing Office document entitled ‘‘General Wage Determinations Issued Under the Davis-Bacon and related Acts’’ being modified are listed by Volume and State. Date of publication in the Federal Register are in parentheses following the decision being modified. Volume I Connecticut CT20030003 (Jun. 13, 2003) CT20030004 (Jun. 13, 2003) Massachusetts MA20030001 (Jun. 13, 2003) MA20030003 (Jun. 13, 2003) MA20030004 (Jun. 13, 2003) MA20030007 (Jun. 13, 2003) MA20030018 (Jun. 13, 2003) Maine ME20030002 (Jun. 13, 2003) New Jersey NJ20030002 (Jun. 13, 2003) New York NY20030002 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030003 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030004 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030005 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030007 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030008 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030009 (Jun. 13, 2003) PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NY20030010 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030011 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030012 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030013 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030014 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030016 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030017 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030018 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030019 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030020 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030021 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030022 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030023 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030025 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030026 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030031 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030032 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030033 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030034 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030036 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030037 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030039 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030040 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030041 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030042 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030043 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030044 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030045 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030046 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030047 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030048 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030049 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030050 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030051 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030058 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030060 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030061 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030066 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030067 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030071 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030072 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030074 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030075 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030076 (Jun. 13, 2003) NY20030077 (Jun. 13, 2003) Volume II District of Columbia DC20030001 (Jun. 13, 2003) DC20030003 (Jun. 13, 2003) Maryland MD20030001 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030006 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030010 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030029 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030034 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030040 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030048 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030056 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030057 (Jun. 13, 2003) MD20030058 (Jun. 13, 2003) Virginia VA20030018 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030025 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030052 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030078 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030079 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030092 (Jun. 13, 2003) VA20030099 (Jun. 13, 2003) Volume III Mississippi MS20030055 (Jun. 13, 2003) MS20030056 (Jun. 13, 2003) Tennessee TN20030022 (Jun. 13, 2003) E:\FR\FM\19JYN1.SGM 19JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 137 (Tuesday, July 19, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41430-41438]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-14120]



[[Page 41430]]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration


Information Regarding the Transfer of Temporary Program Cases to 
the Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers, the Processing 
Locations for Foreign Labor Certification Applications Filed With State 
Workforce Agencies and the Department of Labor, and the Filing of 
Applications for Certification Under the E-3 Worker Visa Program

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Department of 
Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the 
Department of Labor (Department or DOL) is issuing this notice to 
clarify the locations where applications may be filed and are being 
processed, respectively, for the permanent labor certification and 
major temporary foreign labor certification programs administered by 
ETA's Division of Foreign Labor Certification; to clarify key 
procedures within each program that may be impacted by ETA's transition 
from region-based to center-based review; and to provide initial 
guidance for employers filing applications for certification under the 
new E-3 worker visa program for Australian professionals seeking to 
temporarily work in the United States. Recent reforms in several of 
these programs, as well as the streamlining and centralization of 
operations and filing procedures to better serve the needs of 
stakeholders, have required periodic changes to filing locations. This 
notice describes and further clarifies current filing requirements for 
each major program. A chart attached to this notice provides users with 
a convenient, one-stop reference on program-specific filing 
requirements. This chart will be updated and published in the Federal 
Register and posted on DOL's Web site.

DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective immediately.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Carlson, Chief, Division of 
Foreign Labor Certification, U.S. Department of Labor, Room C-4312, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 202-693-3010 
(this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To enhance effectiveness and eliminate undue 
burden on program users, the Department has reformed its process to 
issue permanent labor certifications and continues to review and 
strengthen its various temporary labor certification programs, 
primarily those leading to H-1B, H-1B1, H-2B, and H-2A worker visas. 
The Department's long-term goal is to streamline, automate, and 
centralize operations and processes that may have been duplicative, 
lengthy, or unduly burdensome. Ongoing and proposed changes are 
designed to improve the efficiency and integrity of each program.
    The purpose of this notice is threefold. First, the notice seeks to 
update the filing instructions for applications to the temporary labor 
certification programs, in light of the Department's plans to transfer 
the Federal processing responsibility related to H-2A and H-2B program 
applications, as well as applications requiring special handling, to 
its National Processing Centers located in Atlanta and Chicago. 
Accordingly, much of the information below related to these 
applications is new.
    Second, the notice seeks to present--clearly, briefly, and in a 
single document--basic filing instructions for key labor certification 
programs, including the permanent program. In the context of 
significant changes to labor certification operations and activities, 
the Department believes stakeholders would benefit from summarized, 
organized guidance that establishes a baseline for filings going 
forward. In those cases in which guidance is unchanged--notably, for 
the permanent program--this notice restates the instructions that have 
been provided in recent guidance but, for clarity, refers back to each 
of the notices originally published. As an aid, this notice attaches a 
chart, which the Department will update as needed, for use as a one-
stop reference on filing requirements for each of the programs listed 
below.
    Third, the Department seeks to provide initial guidance governing 
the filing of applications for labor certification under the E-3 worker 
visa program.

H-1B and H-1B1 Temporary Professional Workers

    Application submission: Labor Condition Applications filed under 
the H-1B program, as well as the H-1B1 program created pursuant to 
legislation implementing the United States-Chile and United States-
Singapore Free Trade Agreements, may be filed electronically, by U.S. 
Mail, or by facsimile. Employers complete an electronic Labor Condition 
Application (LCA) through DOL's Foreign Labor Certification LCA Online 
System at http://www.lca.doleta.gov. In addition, employers nationwide 
may mail or fax LCAs on ETA Form 9035 to ETA's Backlog Elimination 
Center in Philadelphia, as follows:
    ETA Backlog Elimination Center, P.O. Box 13640, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania 19101; (800) 397-0478 (fax).
    Employers wishing to withdraw a Labor Condition Application may do 
so by contacting the ETA National Office as noted below. In addition, 
the Department has proposed to require electronic filing of H-1B/H-1B1 
applications in most instances. See 70 FR 16774. A printable copy of 
the ETA Form 9035 is available at http://atlas.doleta.gov/foreign/
preh1BForm.asp. See 20 CFR part 655 subpart H, 69 FR 69412, and the 
Department's website, http://www.doleta.gov/business/gw/guestwkr, for 
additional details on H-1B and H-1B1 filing requirements and use of 
this form.
    Seventh-year extensions: Employers are asked to e-mail any and all 
inquiries regarding seventh-year H-1B extensions to the Backlog 
Elimination Center where their permanent labor certification case is 
pending. Inquiries may be submitted to the Philadelphia Backlog 
Elimination Center at h1b7yr@phi.dflc.us, and to the Dallas Backlog 
Elimination Center at h1b7yr@dal.dflc.us. Please see http://
atlas.doleta.gov/foreign/times.asp for a display of the SWA case 
shipping schedule and respective Center locations.

H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Program

    Application Submission: Employers continue to file an ETA 750, Part 
A, Application for Alien Employment Certification with the State 
Workforce Agency serving the area of intended employment. State 
Workforce Agencies will continue their traditional practice of review 
and recruitment oversight.

    Note: State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), effective Monday, July 
18, 2005, will send processed H-2B applications to the corresponding 
National Processing Center instead of an ETA Regional Office or 
Backlog Elimination Center. In other words, all H-2B applications, 
once reviewed by the SWA, will be sent to either the Atlanta or 
Chicago National Processing Center. Current state processing time 
requirements remain unchanged.

    State distribution: Each Center will accept applications 
corresponding to the areas of intended employment listed below.
    Atlanta National Processing Center: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, 
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, 
Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,

[[Page 41431]]

North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, or the 
Virgin Islands.
    U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 
Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, 
NE., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; Phone: (404) 893-0101; Fax: 
(404) 893-4642.
    Chicago National Processing Center: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, 
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, 
New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, 
Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Guam.
    U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 
Chicago National Processing Center, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, 
Chicago, Illinois 60611; Phone: (312) 886-8000; Fax: (312) 886-1688.
    This process does not apply to H-2B applications for boilermakers, 
entertainers, logging, and professional team sports, which are treated 
separately below.
    Boilermakers and professional team sports: The H-2B filing process 
for professional team sport applications and emergency applications for 
boilermakers shall continue unchanged, i.e., employers will continue to 
submit these applications to ETA's National Office for processing. 
Questions regarding applications on these job classifications may be 
addressed to:
    Leticia Sierra, Manager, Temporary Programs, U.S. Department of 
Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Foreign 
Labor Certification, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, 
Washington, DC 20210. (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number).
    Entertainers: The Federal review process for H-2B entertainers 
shall change effective July 18, 2005. Employers will continue to file 
applications with state Offices Specializing in Entertainment (OSEs) in 
Austin, New York, and Sacramento. However, rather than forward 
applications to ETA Regional Offices in New York, Dallas, and San 
Francisco, these state offices will now send applications to the 
Chicago Processing Center for a determination, as noted below:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
   H-2B entertainers previously sent to:              Send to:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
New York City Regional Office.............  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center.
Dallas Regional Office....................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center.
San Francisco Regional Office.............  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Applications for the Logging Industry: Employers and/or agents 
should continue to submit applications to their respective State 
Workforce Agencies, i.e., Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. 
However, effective July 18, 2005, SWA staff must forward processed 
applications to the Atlanta National Processing Center rather than to 
the ETA Boston Regional Office. Processing time requirements remain 
unchanged.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Previously sent to:                       Send to:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Regional Office....................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Inquiries (all H-2B applications): Employers and/or agents having 
questions regarding the status of their H-2B application(s) should use 
the contact information noted for the Atlanta and Chicago National 
Processing Centers.

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program

    Centralizing H-2A Federal Review: State Workforce Agencies will 
continue their current responsibilities with respect to the receipt and 
processing of H-2A applications. These responsibilities include 
prevailing wage/prevailing practice surveys, recruitment of domestic 
workers, and housing inspections. Effective August 1, 2005, employers 
will file original copies of their H-2A applications directly with 
either the National Processing Centers in Atlanta and Chicago, 
depending on area of intended employment, and simultaneously file a 
copy with the appropriate SWA. The SWAs will coordinate all activities 
regarding the processing of the H-2A applications with the appropriate 
National Processing Center for their jurisdiction, as noted above.
    Specifically, SWAs currently sending H-2A applications to the 
following ETA offices should send materials bearing on each 
application--including housing inspection results, prevailing wage 
surveys, and prevailing practice surveys--as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
   H-2A applications previously sent to:              Send to:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
San Francisco Regional Office.............  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Seattle Regional Office...................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Denver Regional Office....................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Dallas Regional Office (Backlog Center)...  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Chicago Regional Office...................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Boston Regional Office....................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
New York Regional Office..................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
Philadelphia Regional Office (Backlog       Atlanta National Processing
 Center).                                    Center
Atlanta Regional Office...................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
------------------------------------------------------------------------


------------------------------------------------------------------------
   H-2A program fees previously sent to:              Send to:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
San Francisco Regional Office.............  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Seattle Regional Office...................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Denver Regional Office....................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Dallas Regional Office (Backlog Center)...  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Chicago Regional Office...................  Chicago National Processing
                                             Center
Boston Regional Office....................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
New York Regional Office..................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
Philadelphia Regional Office (Backlog       Atlanta National Processing
 Center).                                    Center
Atlanta Regional Office...................  Atlanta National Processing
                                             Center
------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-3 Professional Workers (Australia)

    The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the 
Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005, Public Law 109-13, was 
signed by the President on May 11, 2005. The Act established a new 
nonimmigrant visa category for Australian professionals seeking to work 
in the United States. The Act provides for 10,500 new visas per fiscal 
year for Australian nationals seeking temporary work in ``specialty 
occupations,'' as defined under the H-1B provisions of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act (INA).
    The statute requires that sponsoring employers file a Labor 
Condition Application with the Department of Labor. To certify a 
position for E-3 status, the Department must find--and certify to the 
Departments of Homeland Security and State--that the employer's 
attestations meet the requirements of

[[Page 41432]]

INA Sec.  212(t)(1), the section governing labor certifications for the 
H-1B1 program.
    The Department is coordinating with other Federal agencies with an 
interest or potential role in the E-3 program to determine and issue 
further guidance on the specific parameters of the program and how the 
program will be administered. In the interim, the Department recommends 
employers seeking to sponsor workers under the E-3 category:
     Use Form ETA 9035, Labor Condition Application for H-1B & 
H-1B1 Nonimmigrants, to request certification under the E-3 program.
     Print ``E-3--Australia--to be processed'' at the top of 
each page of the form. Please print legibly and use blue or black ink.
     File the completed LCA with the Department of Labor's 
National Office.
    Questions regarding E-3 Labor Condition Applications may be 
addressed to:
    Leticia Sierra, Manager, Temporary Programs, U.S. Department of 
Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Division of Foreign 
Labor Certification, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, 
Washington, DC 20210; (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number).

Permanent Labor Certification Program

    New regulations, effective March 28, 2005, implement a reengineered 
permanent labor certification program through the use of a new Program 
Electronic Review Management (PERM) system. See 69 FR 77326. Employers 
requesting labor certifications for the permanent employment of aliens 
under this new regulation must use a new ETA Form 9089, Application for 
Permanent Employment Certification, which they must file directly with 
DOL either electronically or by U.S. Mail to the appropriate National 
Processing Center. The Department will not accept applications 
submitted by facsimile.
    Permanent program applications are processed at DOL's National 
Processing Centers, located in Atlanta and Chicago. The Department 
opened these centers in December 2004 to review applications filed 
under the PERM system. The National Processing Centers will also 
process applications filed under the previous regulation that meet the 
refiling requirements of the new program. See 20 CFR 656.17(d).
    Electronic applications: For faster processing, the Department 
encourages employers to file applications using the Permanent Online 
System at http://www.plc.doleta.gov. After employers register and 
establish an account, they or their representatives (for whom they have 
established a subaccount) can proceed to complete the application 
electronically. An application filed electronically will be immediately 
routed to the National Processing Center responsible for the geographic 
area serving the area of intended employment.
    Mailed applications: Employers electing to file non-electronically 
must submit applications in accordance with the guidance published 
previously in the Federal Register governing which states correspond to 
which National Processing Center and restated below. See 70 FR 6734. 
The PERM application must be mailed to the National Processing Center 
listed below that covers the state or territory in which the area of 
intended employment is located, as identified below.
    Atlanta National Processing Center: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, 
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, 
Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, 
Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin 
Islands
    U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 
Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, 
NE., Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; Phone: (404) 893-0101. Fax: 
(404) 893-4642.
    Chicago National Processing Center: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, 
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, 
New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, 
Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Guam
    U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 
Chicago National Processing Center, 844 North Rush Street, 12th Floor, 
Chicago, Illinois 60611; Phone: (312) 886-8000; Fax: (312) 353-3352.
    Applications submitted under the permanent labor certification 
regulation in effect prior to March 28, 2005: Applications for 
permanent labor certification filed under the regulation in effect 
until March 28, 2005, are being processed in either one of two Backlog 
Elimination Centers established by the Department in Dallas and 
Philadelphia, based upon the state in which the area of intended 
employment is located. Previously filed applications pending in SWA 
offices or DOL Regional Offices have been transferred for centralized 
processing in Dallas and Philadelphia. Please see http://
atlas.doleta.gov/foreign/times.asp for a display of the SWA case 
shipping schedule and respective Center locations.
    Philadelphia Backlog Elimination Center: Same states as covered by 
the Atlanta National Processing Center, ETA/DFLC Backlog Elimination 
Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200, Bala 
Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004; (484) 270-1500 (phone); (484) 270-1600 
(fax).
    Dallas Backlog Elimination Center: Same states as covered by the 
Chicago National Processing Center, ETA/DFLC Backlog Elimination 
Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 400 N, 
Dallas, Texas 75201; (214) 237-9111 (phone); (214) 237-9135 (fax).
    Professional team sports: The DOL ETA National Office will continue 
to process employer applications for certification of permanent 
positions in professional team sports.
    For all other Foreign Labor Certification Program matters, e.g., 
PERM Schedule A and Sheepherders, etc., please forward questions to the 
ETA National Office at the address noted above.
    For additional information on requirements for filing applications 
under the PERM program and a listing of Frequently Asked Questions 
(FAQs) for both PERM and backlogged application processing, please see 
http://atlas.doleta.gov/foreign.

    Signed in Washington, DC this 13th day of July, 2005.
Emily Stover DeRocco,
Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
BILLING CODE 4510-30-U

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[FR Doc. 05-14120 Filed 7-18-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-30-C