PERM FAQs: Filing & Refiling

Question: What is the process by which an employer registers and files an application on line?

Answer: In order to file permanent labor certification applications on-line, the employer must have a Permanent Online System account, username, password, and PIN. The account allows for the preparation and management of applications on-line, the username and password are necessary to access the account, and the PIN is required to submit applications on-line.

Permanent Online System account: An account is created after an employer has submitted registration information on-line at www.plc.doleta.gov and the employer information is verified by DOL. Account creation is a means by which to control filing authorization and to provide account holders filing management capabilities. An employer must be registered and be in possession of a PIN in order to file applications on-line. Upon verification of the employer’s information, a password and confirmation of the account holder’s username are sent to the employer in one email and, for security reasons, the PIN in another. It must be noted that upon accessing the account for the first time, the system requires the DOL password be changed to a new password. It is critical that the employer be aware of and know the new password, as only an individual in possession of the account’s valid username and password is able to access the account.

Sub-account: The holder of a Permanent Online System account is able to create multiple sub-accounts with individual usernames and passwords for persons authorized by the employer to file applications in its name, to include attorneys and agents. It is a means by which to provide the employer the security of ensuring only persons authorized by the employer are filing on the employer’s behalf. In creating a sub-account, the employer is able to designate whether the sub-account holder is the employer’s employee, the employer’s agent or the employer’s lawyer. The employer is also able to designate the level of security access available to the sub- account holder.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN): The FEIN is provided to the employer by the IRS. It is a means by which the Department of Labor (DOL) verifies the bona fides of the employer and ensures that only legitimate employers are able to avail themselves of the labor certification process. In order to satisfy the definition of employer for purposes of labor certification, all employers, including employers of household domestic workers, must possess a valid FEIN.

Username: The username is a log-in name provided by the employer registrant. After registration, upon successful employer verification, confirmation of the username is emailed to the employer by DOL. It is a means by which to identify the account holder and establish access authority. Each username is unique; duplications are not accepted.

Password: An initial password is provided by the Permanent Online System. After registration, upon successful employer verification, the temporary password is emailed to the employer by DOL. Upon activation of an account after registration, the individual initially accessing the account is required to create a new password. The password is a means by which to identify the account holder and establish access authority. NOTE: An account can only be accessed by the holder of the username and password. Where the password is changed, only an individual with the user name and the new password will be able to access the account.

Personal Identification Number (PIN): The PIN is provided to the employer after registration upon successful employer verification by DOL. It is a means by which to safeguard on-line filing. Only an individual in possession of a PIN is able to actually submit a labor certification application on-line. The PIN used in submitting an application must be the PIN of the employer named on the application filing the application.

Question: Where the employer has established a sub-account for an attorney or agent, is the attorney or agent permitted to submit applications on-line?

Answer: Yes, an attorney or agent may submit applications under the following circumstances. An employer must complete the registration process as explained at http://www.plc.doleta.gov, including the initial log-in. During the initial log-in, the employer will change the employer’s temporary password (as assigned by the system during registration) and once logged-in, the employer can establish a sub-account for an attorney or agent. The employer will select a username for the attorney or agent, and the system will assign a temporary password. The attorney or agent will receive an e-mail with the username, temporary password, and the employer’s PIN. When the attorney or agent logs in and changes the attorney’s or agent’s password, the attorney or agent is then permitted to complete and submit applications on-line on behalf of the employer using the PIN of the employer in whose name the application is being filed.

Question: How can the employer ensure that no unauthorized use of the employer’s personal identification number (PIN) and/or usernames and passwords exists?

Answer: The employer is able to view all applications filed under the employer’s account, to include all applications filed under the employer’s sub-accounts, and we recommend employers implement a mechanism by which to identify any unauthorized use of the employer’s PIN and/or usernames and passwords. We also recommend employers require those persons to whom sub-accounts have been assigned to carefully monitor the accounts for unauthorized activity. If the employer uncovers unauthorized use of the PIN and/or usernames and passwords, the employer must immediately contact the Department of Labor at PLC.HELP@DOL.gov.

NOTE: The employer is advised to set up a sub-account for the attorney or agent. Thereafter, the attorney or agent, using the sub-account’s username and password, will be able to access the sub-account and be able to do what is required and/or needed to file labor certification applications on behalf of the employer, depending on the level of access granted by the employer. In filing applications for an employer, the attorney or agent must use the employer’s PIN, which is provided to the attorney or agent upon creation of the sub-account along with the sub-account’s own username and password. The employer is cautioned that ultimate responsibility for the representations of its attorney and/or agent rests with the employer.

Question: If a parent entity wishes to centralize administration/control over PERM filings of its subsidiaries having different FEINs, can the parent company create sub-accounts for each subsidiary and then permit each subsidiary to assume responsibility for its own filings?

Answer: No, a parent company can not create sub-accounts for subsidiaries having FEINs different from that of the parent company in order to centralize administration and control. When an application is being completed using a sub-account, employer information from the main account, including FEIN and address, is automatically populated into the application and that information can not physically be changed or altered.

Question: Will the National Processing Centers issue confirmations of receipt for mail-in applications?

Answer: No, the National Processing Centers will not issue confirmations of receipt for mail-in applications. If the employer wishes to maintain a record of having mailed the application, it is recommended that a mail service which provides such documentation be used.

Question: Are there any circumstances under which mailing in a labor certification application would prove more successful than electronically submitting an application on-line?

Answer: No, mailing in an application will not prove more successful, as the mailed-in application, upon receipt at the National Processing Center, is date stamped. Until the application is data entered into the system by a data entry person (using the exact information shown on the ETA Form 9089), processing will not begin on the application. Once entered in the system, the mailed-in application receives the exact same automated analysis and manual scrutiny as an application submitted electronically. If there are two identical applications, one submitted electronically and one mailed-in, there will be no difference in how they are processed. The only difference will be in processing time; a mailed-in application will take longer, as not only mailing but also the data entry time will be involved. Remember: the on-line system will identify mistakes (e.g. entering four digits for a zip code instead of five digits) before allowing the application to be submitted, but the data entry person must enter the information exactly as shown on the application; a mistake on the form may trigger an audit or denial.

Question: How must the employer save and/or store the documentation necessary to support a labor certification application?

Answer: No one method for saving and/or storing necessary documents is prescribed, nor is any particular method proscribed. The burden of establishing the validity of any documentation provided in support of a labor certification application rests with the employer. In establishing a method by which to save/store supporting documentation, the employer must remember that the responsibility for producing valid and defensible documentation in the event it is requested by a Certifying Officer rests solely with the employer. Such documentation must be retained by the employer for five years from the date of filing.

Question: In the event an employer wanted to refile a reduction-in-recruitment (RIR) conversion application, what date would be considered the original filing date (priority date), i.e., is the filing date of the original application the date the traditional recruitment application was filed with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) or the date the application was accepted as a RIR conversion application?

Answer: The original filing date (priority date) is the date the original application was initially accepted for processing by the SWA under the basic labor certification process; it is not the date the application was accepted as a RIR conversion application.

Question: Is it possible to refile an application under the PERM optional special recruiting provision for college and university teachers if eighteen months or more have passed since the selection of the alien was made pursuant to a competitive recruitment and selection process?

Answer: No, an application cannot be refiled under the PERM optional special recruiting provision on behalf of an alien selected pursuant to a competitive recruitment and selection process if eighteen months have passed since the selection of the alien.

Question: Where can I email my questions?

Answer: There are three locations where you may send your questions, depending upon the type of question asked. If you have a technical question (for example, if you forgot your password), then please email those questions to plc.help@dol.gov. If you have a program specific question (for example, if you have a question concerning the content of an advertisement) or a policy question, then please email your questions to one of the appropriate National Processing Centers at PLC.Chicago@dol.gov (for the Chicago National Processing Center) or PLC.Atlanta@dol.gov (for the Atlanta National Processing Center). The appropriate National Processing Center depends upon the state in which you are located. Please note: Questions should no longer be e-mailed to perm.dflc@dol.gov.

Question: Under PERM, is it permissible for an employer to have more than one labor certification application actively in process for the same alien at any given time? What should an employer do if it has already filed multiple applications for the same alien?

Answer: We have removed the response to this question posted on August 8, 2005. The Department is considering questions and information stakeholders have submitted in response to this FAQ posting, and will be developing and posting a clarified response in the near future.

Question: In view of the past practice of allowing the filing of multiple applications by the same employer for the same alien if the job opening was different, why, under PERM, is the employer precluded from having more than one application for the same alien actively in process at any given time?

Answer: We have removed the response to this question posted on August 8, 2005. The Department is considering questions and information stakeholders have submitted in response to this FAQ posting, and will be developing and posting a clarified response in the near future.

Question: How can an employer withdraw a PERM application if the employer has difficulty withdrawing electronically?

Answer: As explained in an earlier FAQ on this subject, if the application was filed on- line, the application can be withdrawn by accessing the account wherein the application was filed and simply marking the appropriate box. If the application was filed by mail, a withdrawal request, in writing following the procedure below, must be sent to the National Processing Center to which the application was originally submitted.

In the event employers are unable to withdraw electronically as stated above, employers should send a withdrawal request by e-mail to the appropriate National Processing Center at: PLC.Chicago@dol.gov (for Chicago) or PLC.Atlanta@dol.gov (for Atlanta). To ensure your request is processed expeditiously, please include the following information in the e- mail request:

  • Show the words “Withdrawal Request” and the employer’s name in the subject line of the e-mail
  • In the body of the e-mail, include the following information: ƒ Case Number
    • Employer’s Name
    • Employer’s EIN
    • The reason for withdrawal
    • Name and title of individual requesting withdrawal

NOTE: In most circumstances, an application cannot be withdrawn while it is being audited.

Question: How can corrections be made to a filed application?

Answer: Corrections can not be made to an application after the application is submitted under PERM. Once an application has been electronically submitted or mailed, it is considered final and no changes to the application will be permitted. This applies to typographical errors, as well. If the employer believes changes and/or corrections are necessary to the admissibility and/or appropriateness of the application, the employer should withdraw the application and file a new application with the changes and/or corrections. (For withdrawal information, see the separate FAQ on procedures for withdrawing an application.)

NOTE: All accurate recruitment information from the prior application, if still applicable and current, can be used in support of the new application.

Question: For electronically filed applications, please provide a listing, and explanation, of the status indicators that appear on the website.

Answer: The status indicators for an application filed on-line are as follows:

Incomplete: A case number preceded by a “T” indicates that the application has not been formally “filed” by the employer or its agent, i.e., electronically submitted, and is still a temporary draft. When an application is electronically submitted to a National Processing Center, the “T” changes to either a “C” or “A” depending on whether the application is submitted to the Chicago or Atlanta National Processing Center, respectively.

In process: An “in process” status indicates the application is in the process of moving through the DOL’s certification process. If the application is in a stage of review requiring further information/documentation from the employer, the employer will be notified.

Withdrawn: A “withdrawn” status indicates the employer has withdrawn the application.

Denied: A “denied” status indicates the application is denied. A Final Determination form, stating the reasons for the determination and advising the employer of how to request review, should the employer choose to do so, will be sent to the employer. The Final Determination must be included in any request for review, therefore, the employer must wait to receive the form before making such a request. The employer is also advised to wait for the Final Determination before filing a new application for the same alien to avoid repeating errors made in the original application.

Appeal: An “appeal” status indicates the application is under reconsideration and/or review and is considered “in process.” No new application for the same alien can be filed while an application is in a reconsideration and/or review queue.

Certified: A “certified” status indicates the labor certification is granted. The certified application and a complete Final Determination form will be sent to the employer, or, if appropriate, to the employer’s agent or attorney, indicating the employer may file all the documents with the appropriate office in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

 

Source: Department of Labor