• Conversion of Traditional Recruitment to Reduction-in-Recruitment
  • May 17, 2007
  • Law Firm: Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP - New York Office
  • Most foreign nationals un the United States seeking employment based immigration visas ("Green Cards") must first be beneficiaries of approved labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL). The labor certification process is designed to guarantee that: 1) there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are willing, able, qualified or available to take the position; and 2) employment of the foreign national will not adversely affect wages of similarly employed U.S. workers. This process involves the employer undergoing a series of recruitment steps to test the U.S. labor market and assess whether willing, able and qualified U.S. workers are available. Prior to the implementation of the PERM process in 2005, the Department of Labor processed most labor certification applications under a Traditional Recruitment (TR) standard. This process called for supervision of employers in their recruitment attempts.

    This process was particularly time consuming, causing a sizeable backlog of applications. The DOL then began to encourage employers to use a more expeditious labor certification process, referred to as Reduction-in-Recruitment (RIR). This process allowed employers to recruit without the supervision of the DOL. The results of the recruitment were submitted to the DOL for verification that the recruitment complied with the applicable regulations. On August 3, 2001 the DOL put into place a rule that would allow employers to convert their existing TR applications to RIR.

    The original rule allowed employers to convert only those applications waiting in the backlog that had been filed on or before August 3, 2001 to be converted. On October 6, 2006, in furtherance of its attempts to eliminate the backlog, the DOL announced that it would extend this deadline to applications filed on or before March 27, 2005. The only cases that are ineligible for conversion are those which the DOL has already commenced processing using the TR standard.