The DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Atlanta National Processing Center (NPC) will issue PERM labor certification documents electronically to employers and their authorized attorneys and/or agents, commencing on March 25, 2020 through to June 30, 2020. These documents will include the certified Form ETA-9089 and Final Determination letter. Once the email is received, the certified Form ETA-9089 must be printed and signed and dated by the foreign worker, preparer (if applicable), and the employer and then filed with USCIS.
Original, paper Form ETA-9089 and Final Determination letters will only be sent to employers, authorized attorneys or agents, who are not able to receive the certified Form ETA-9089 documents by email. OFLC will use UPS regular delivery.
Upon email receipt of an electronic copy of the certified Form ETA-9089, the form must be printed, and then signed and dated by each of the following prior to filing the Form I-140 with USCIS: the foreign worker, preparer (if applicable), and the employer. The printed and signed Form ETA-9089 will be considered by USCIS as satisfying the requirement that petitioners provide evidence of an original labor certification issued by DOL.
This announcement comes just days after an announcement by DOL that the OFLC will extend PERM inquiry deadlines due on March 13, 2020 for 60 days, thru to May 12, 2020. Extensions will also be provided for PERM recruitment and Notice of Filing, which typically must occur within 180 days, for an additional 60 days. The conditions for this extension is recruitment must have commenced between September 15, 2019 through to March 13, 2020 and the PERM filing is completed on May 12, 2020.
With the limited means of some who are working from home and with closures and delays of many delivery companies, the DOL is making some accommodations for the PERM process. Accommodations are continuously being updated with all US Government Agencies and the priority is to protect against the COVID-19 crisis.