DOL’s National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) is currently not issuing Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWDs) for PERM Labor Certification cases, nor are they reviewing requests for reconsideration of previous prevailing wage determinations. It appears PWDs stopped in early June.
PWDs for PERM cases are on hold as the NPWC is required by court order to reissue approximately 4,000 H-2B PWDs, to reflect the new H-2B wage rates that will apply for H-2B employment on or after September 30, 2011. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been told that DOL will be able to reissue all of the required H-2B wage determinations sometime in September. DOL has not issued any estimate on when they will resume processing prevailing wages for PERM cases.
AILA liaison has been in communication with DOL for the past several weeks about the prevailing wage delays. AILA has also asked that DOL immediately resume processing all prevailing wage requests, as suspension of prevailing wage determinations prevents employers from filing any PERM applications. This delay is particularly detrimental to would-be PERM applicants trying to extend their H-1B status beyond the six-year limit (utilizing AC-21 regulations). In order to qualify for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit, the employee must either have filed PERM at least 365 days prior, or have an approved I-140. Thus, the PWD delay may disqualify some H-1B workers from attaining extensions beyond the sixth year. This delay may also result in older children being excluded from adjusting to permanent residency as derivative applicants on their parent's application.
As soon as ILG has further update from DOL on this issue, it will be posted on our website.