The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that the permanent foreign labor certification program's backlog has been eliminated, with nearly 99 percent of cases completed and the remainder awaiting responses from employers. For almost three years, more than 300 workers in two processing centers reviewed approximately 363,000 pending applications.
The Permanent Labor Certification Program processes employer requests for foreign workers when U.S. workers are not available, willing and able to fill job openings. Changes in the law in 1997 and 2000 led to a dramatic increase in applications to this employer-sponsored program. As a result of this, backlogs developed and it took years for applications to be processed and for individuals to eventually receive the preliminary step in getting their permanent residencies. Due to the backlogs, the labor department opened temporary facilities dedicated solely to eliminating the backlog.
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