As the new year rolls around, a special gift from our friends at the Department of Labor awaits. Prevailing Wage Requests (Form ETA-9141) for PERM and temporary visas such as H-1Bs will need to be mailed or sent via courier (not e-mailed) to the DOL in Washington, DC. This is arguably a step backwards as most, if not all states currently determine prevailing wages for immigration benefits via electronic mail. This new system will likely prove both time-consuming and inefficient. The Department hopes to have an electronic system set up at a later time.
Having DOL determine the prevailing wage from a central location can be either beneficial or detrimental depending on how happy one has been with their state’s determinations. One would hope that this new procedure will lead to more consistent wage determinations across the board as is the agency’s goal, however given DOL’s initial goal of adjudicating PERM applications within a couple of months, I wouldn’t hold my breath.