Sep 29 2020

DOL Permanently Adopts COVID-19 Accommodation to Electronically Issue PERM Labor Certifications

United States

At a glance

PERM labor certifications will permanently be issued electronically and sent to employers and representatives via e-mail, according to a DOL announcement. 

The Issue

The Department of Labor (DOL) has decided to permanently implement the electronic issuance of PERM labor certifications. In March, the agency announced it would temporarily issue labor certifications via e-mail as opposed to U.S. post due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though this accommodation had been originally set to expire on June 30, it was later extended to September 30 given the ongoing nature of the pandemic. Rather than provide another extension, DOL will now make this practice permanent.   

According to DOL, the ongoing issuance of electronic labor certifications is now possible following a July 2020 memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which among other provisions, grants DHS access to the DOL’s PERM online system. Given that DHS can now directly confirm the authenticity of a labor certification through the DHS database, DOL will no longer need to issue certifications on blue security paper.    

In light of this announcement, DHS will continue to consider an electronically issued PERM that is appropriately signed as evidence of an “original labor certification” for purposes of filing a Form I-140 petition. Where DOL has already issued a labor certification on blue security paper, and it remains valid, the employer should use that labor certification to support the I-140 filing. 

What this means

Employers will continue to receive certified PERMs via e-mail instead of through the U.S. post. To ensure employers receive the certified PERM, they should ensure that the email address for the DOL National Processing Center – [email protected] – is added to their email address book.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.