The Department of Labor has extended the deadline on a Request for Information on whether the agency should revise its list of Schedule A job classifications that do not require permanent labor certification.

Key Points:

  • The period for submitting comments has been extended to May 13, 2024; previously, the comment period had been set to end Feb. 20.
  • The Request for Information is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to streamline immigration processes under an October executive order on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Specifically, the DOL asked for public input on “the appropriate data sources and methods for determining whether labor shortages exist, whether Schedule A should be used to alleviate any labor shortages in STEM occupations … and if so, how the Department could establish a reliable, objective and transparent methodology for identifying STEM occupations that are experiencing labor shortages.”

BAL Analysis: Green cards in the EB-2 and EB-3 classifications generally require permanent labor certification, or PERM; however, PERM is not required for occupations on the Schedule A list of shortage occupations. This list has not been revised since 2004, and the DOL’s move to ask for public input is a welcome development toward modernizing the list and the process for revising it. The Request for Information is a preliminary step in the rulemaking process, and several steps must be completed before the list can be updated. BAL will continue following this matter and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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