Announcements

July 12, 2022. OFLC Publishes List of Randomized H-2B Applications Submitted July 3-5, 2022, for Employers Seeking H-2B Workers Starting October 1, 2022

To keep the public informed regarding the submission and assignment of H-2B applications for review, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) published the Assignment Group(s) for 1,360 H-2B applications covering 29,856 worker positions with a work start date of October 1, 2022. Since the number of the H-2B applications received during the three-day filing window collectively requested fewer worker positions for certification than the number of visas available under the semi-annual visa allotment for the first half of Fiscal Year 2022, all H-2B applications filed within that time period that requested workers starting October 1, 2022, were randomly given a unique number in accordance with OFLC's randomization process and placed into the same group for assignment to analysts for review and processing.

July 6, 2022. OFLC Conducts Randomization Process on H-2B Applications Submitted Requesting an October 1, 2022, Work Start Date

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) completed the randomization process to randomly assign to analysts for review and processing all H-2B applications submitted during the three-day filing window, July 3-5, 2022, requesting an October 1, 2022, work start date.

During this filing period, OFLC received a total of 1,360 H-2B applications requesting 29,856 worker positions for work beginning on October 1, 2022.

OFLC will be providing written notification to employers (and, if applicable, the employer's authorized attorney or agent) with their H-2B Assignment Group. On July 12, 2022, OFLC will also publish the H-2B applications assigned to each Assignment Group on its website.

July 6, 2022. OFLC Announces Number of H-2B Applications Filed in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System During the Three-day Filing Window of the Peak Filing Season

During the three-day filing window (July 3-5, 2022) of the H-2B peak filing season, employers filed 1,360 applications in the FLAG System requesting 29,856 worker positions with an October 1, 2022, work start date.

On July 6, 2022, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) plans to randomly order all applications requesting a work start date of October 1, 2022, that were submitted during the three-day filing window. OFLC will use the randomization procedures published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019, to randomize the applications for assignment to analysts for review and processing.

July 1, 2022. OFLC Publishes Updated Wage Data for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) received the 2022 Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Prevailing Wage Study survey from the Governor of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for the CW-1 program. OFLC has approved the 2022 CNMI Prevailing Wage Study survey for 409 occupations and will issue updated CW-1 prevailing wages using this data from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. The updated wage table includes prevailing wage data for a total of 848 occupations.

June 30, 2022. OFLC Issues Technical Release Notes for the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Update for the July 2022 Through June 2023 Wage Year

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has published the latest prevailing wage data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) as generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the new wage year from July 2022 through June 2023.

OFLC is implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes starting with this July 2022 through June 2023 wage year, and thereafter. The effective date is July 1, 2022. Prevailing wage determinations issued by the National Prevailing Wage Center from that date forward will reflect the new 2018 SOC codes.

June 27, 2022. Office of Foreign Labor Certification Announces Publication of an Updated Appendix A to the Preamble–Education and Training Categories by O*NET–SOC Occupations Effective July 1, 2022

On November 15, 2021, the Employment and Training Administration issued a Federal Register notice (FRN) informing the public that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) was updating Appendix A to the Preamble–Education and Training Categories by Occupational Information Network (O*NET)–Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Occupations. Appendix A is a list of professional occupations that serves as a guide for employers to distinguish between professional and non-professional occupations in order to comply with the professional recruitment requirements of the PERM program. The FRN stated that OFLC intends to review BLS’s occupational and education data each year to publish a new list of occupations on its website, even when BLS data remain the same from the previous year.

OFLC is releasing this year’s Appendix A, implementing the new list of professional occupations, effective July 1, 2022.

June 24, 2022. H-2B Application Filing Timelines for 2022 Peak Filing Season

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) reminds employers and other interested stakeholders that the three-day filing window to submit an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification (Form ETA-9142B and appendices) requesting a work start date of October 1, 2022, will open on July 3, 2022, at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and close on July 5, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. This three-day period is the earliest an employer may file an application for October 1, 2022, work start date, which is the first day of the semi-annual visa allotment for the first half of Fiscal Year 2022. Employers seeking start dates of October 2, 2022, or later must comply with the timeliness requirements at 20 CFR 655.15(b).

In accordance with regulatory requirements and OFLC’s standard operating procedures, H-2B applications requesting October 1, 2022, the work start date will be denied if they are filed before July 3, 2022, at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

OFLC will randomly order for assignment to analysts for review and processing all H-2B applications requesting a work start date of October 1, 2022, that are filed during the three-day filing window (July 3-5, 2022) using the randomization procedures published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019.

Filing Tips

  • Only one Application for Temporary Employment Certification per job opportunity should be filed to prevent duplicate filings and delays in processing.
  • If answering “yes” to Board, Lodging, or Other Facilities, include details of the deductions and indicate that it is optional to the workers.
  • The employer must submit the job order to the SWA serving the area of intended employment at the same time it submits the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and a copy of the job order to the OFLC National Processing Center.
  • Original signatures and dates on Appendix B must be current.
     

June 22, 2022. OFLC has placed the June 21, 2022 stakeholder update on the implementation of the new 2018 Standard Occupational Classification system recording and presentation on the Prevailing Wage section of the website. 

As part of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's (OFLC) ongoing efforts to increase public engagement, OFLC's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) hosted a two-hour webinar on the implementation of the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. These materials are now available to view on the Prevailing Wage Information and Resources tab located here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/wages

June 14, 2022. Office of Foreign Labor Certification Announces 60-Day Public Comment Period on the Form ETA-9141, Form ETA-9141, Appendix A, and Form ETA-9165

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has published a 60-day Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Federal Register Notice (FRN) relating to the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination information collection request (ICR) (OMB Control Number 1205-0508). OFLC is seeking a three year approval of the information collection and related retention requirements associated with the Form ETA-9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination; Form ETA-9141, General Instructions; Form ETA-9141, Appendix A, Request for Additional Worksite(s); Form ETA-9165, Employer-Provided Survey Attestations to Accompany H-2B Prevailing Wage Determination Request Based on a Non-OES Survey; and Form ETA-9165, General Instructions. The information collection approved under this ICR ensures employers provide information about their job opportunities and terms of employment necessary to determine prevailing wages.

The FRN notifies the public of OFLC’s proposed minor revisions to the Form ETA-9141, Form ETA-9165, and accompanying instructions, and provides the public the opportunity to comment for 60 days. Written comments must be submitted in accordance with the instructions provided in the FRN. The deadline to submit comments is August 15, 2022.

June 10, 2022. OFLC announces a webinar on June 21, 2022 to update stakeholders on the implementation of the new 2018 Standard Occupational Classification system. 

As part of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's (OFLC) ongoing efforts to increase public engagement, OFLC's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) will host a two-hour webinar on the implementation of the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. OFLC will begin using the 2018 SOC system on July 1, 2022, in place of the 2010 SOC system.   Since September 1999, the SOC has been used by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program to classify occupational wage information. The SOC provides a common language for categorizing occupations, and serves as the framework for information being gathered through the Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET). 

The NWPC will present background, an implementation timeline, and review how the new classification will affect Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD). This event will be recorded and all materials will be placed on the Prevailing Wage tab of the OFLC’s website for future access. 

Meeting Details:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) | 2 hrs 
 
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May 27, 2022. The Department of Labor Clarifies Method of Contacting AFL-CIO Required Under the Rule Increasing the Number of H-2B Visas Available in the Second Half of Fiscal Year 2022

The U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security published a temporary final rule (TFR) increasing the numerical limitation on H-2B nonimmigrant visas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 positions with start dates on or after April 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022. The TFR included additional recruitment requirements for certain employers, including the requirement that where the occupation or industry is traditionally or customarily unionized, “the employer must contact (by mail, email or other effective means) the nearest American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations [AFL-CIO] office covering the area of intended employment and provide written notice of the job opportunity, by providing a copy of the job order placed pursuant to (a)(5)(i) of this section, and request assistance in recruiting qualified U.S. workers for the job.” 20 CFR § 655.65(a)(5)(iii).

As stated in the TFR, examples of such contact include emailing the job order, along with a request for assistance to recruit workers, to the appropriate AFL-CIO office or mailing such materials to the appropriate AFL-CIO office.

To aid employers who must conduct this additional recruitment step, one effective means of contacting the nearest AFL-CIO office covering the area of intended employment is to email the job order and request for assistance to: H-2B@aflcio.org or contacting the national AFL-CIO by mail at the following address:

AFL-CIO
Attn: H-2B
815 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW
Washington, DC 20005

These materials will then be distributed to the most appropriate local office serving the area of intended employment for that job opportunity. Employers are encouraged to contact the AFL-CIO using the email or mailing address above, though contact directly with the AFL-CIO office covering the area of intended employment is also acceptable. Employers are reminded to retain documentation of contact with the AFL-CIO as required under 20 CFR § 655.66.

May 18, 2022. The Departments of Labor and Homeland Security Publish Rule Increasing the Number of H-2B Visas Available in the Second Half of Fiscal Year 2022

The U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security have published a temporary final rule (TFR) increasing the numerical limitation on H-2B nonimmigrant visas to authorize the issuance of no more than 35,000 additional visas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 positions with start dates on or after April 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, to employers that are suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested under the cap increase. Of the 35,000 visas available, up to 23,500 are limited to H-2B returning workers, and up to 11,500 are reserved for nationals of the Northern Triangle Countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) and Haiti. The TFR provides additional protections for U.S. workers, flexibility for foreign workers, and additional recruitment requirements for certain employers.

In support of this rule, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has posted the new Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-6 and the accompanying instructions. The TFR requires an employer to attest, among other things, to the fact that it is suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested under the cap increase. This attestation must be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services along with Form I-129, in support of an H-2B application subject to the H-2B cap on or before September 30, 2022. The attestation is available on the Forms page of the OFLC website at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/forms.

May 13, 2022. OFLC Releases Public Disclosure Data and Selected Program Statistics for Q2 of Fiscal Year 2022

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has released a comprehensive set of public disclosure data (through the second quarter of fiscal year 2022) drawn from employer applications requesting prevailing wage determinations and labor certifications for the PERM, LCA (H-1B, H-1B1, E-3), H-2A, H-2B, CW-1, and Prevailing Wage programs.

The public disclosure files include all final determinations OFLC issued for these programs during the October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022 reporting period of fiscal year 2022.

OFLC has also released selected program statistics for the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 for the PERM, LCA (H-1B, H-1B1, E-3), H-2A, H-2B, CW-1, and Prevailing Wage programs.

May 13, 2022. OFLC Releases the H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List for Q2 of Fiscal Year 2022

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has published an updated list of the names of foreign labor recruiters for the H-2B program as required by 20 CFR 655.9(c).

The list contains the name and location of persons or entities identified on Appendix C of the Form ETA-9142B that were hired by, or working for, the recruiter that employers have indicated they engaged, or planned to engage, in the recruitment of prospective H-2B workers to perform the work described on their H-2B application.

The H-2B Foreign Labor Recruiter List includes only those names and locations associated with H-2B applications that were processed or issued a final decision during the October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022.

By publishing the foreign labor recruiter list, OFLC is ensuring greater transparency for the H-2B worker recruitment process and facilitating information sharing between the U.S. Department of Labor and other agencies.

May 11, 2022. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) Places Presentation Materials on Website for Public Access. 

On April 19, the OFLC hosted a webinar providing tips and assistance for stakeholders on the Process of Filing Form ETA-9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, for the Permanent and Labor Condition Programs.  Webinar recordings and presentation materials are available on the program page indicated below.

•    Recording and Presentation are located under the “Webinars” tab on the Prevailing Wage Information and Resources page located here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor/wages

 

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