Hello everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of Immigration Matters.
There have been two important announcements, first is the Labor Department's proposal to expedite labor certification applications and the second is the DV-2002 lottery program. Both will be discussed.
On July 26, 2000, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulation allowing employers with pending traditional labor certification applications to convert them into fast-track reduction in recruitment applications, known as RIR, while preserving the earlier priority date.
Although this is a proposal, it is expected to become effective shortly and will help move cases faster. Although an employer can presently file a fast-track RIR application, the DOL will not process the new application unless the old one is withdrawn. The loss of the earlier priority date, as a result of the withdrawal, could severely affect Indian and Chinese nationals as the visa numbers under the employment-based second and third preferences for these countries have retrogressed substantially. The new proposed regulation would permit the employer to demonstrate recruitment within the past six months, thus enabling a conversion of the old case into an RIR without losing the priority date.
Labor certification is normally the first step for an employer to sponsor a foreign employee for lawful permanent residence. The employer must establish that there are no U.S. workers qualified or available within the area of employment for the position that has been offered to the foreign employee. Traditionally an employer filed an application and waited for instructions from the labor department to conduct the recruitment. Due to the backlog, it could take over four years for a labor certification application to be approved the normal way.
If an employer can establish that it has conducted a good faith recruitment within six months preceding filing, the DOL can move the process extremely expeditiously under the RIR procedure. The regulation will allow old cases to be converted to fast-tract RIR cases if the employer can show that it has conducted a good faith recruitment in the last six months. This rule will only apply to applications that have been filed on or before July 26, 2000, and which have not already gone through supervised recruitment.
The U.S. Department of State has announced the 2002 Diversity Visa Program. Applicants for the DV Program are initially chosen through a random computer-generated lottery drawing. Natives of the following countries are not eligible: Canada, China (mainland-born and Macau), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Entries for the lottery program must be received at the Kentucky Consular Center between noon on Monday, October 2, 2000, and noon on Wednesday, November 1, 2000.
For further details on how and where to apply, please refer to the State Department's website at www.travel.state.gov.
I hope you found this segment informative. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Cyrus Mehta at 212-686-1581. The number once again is 212-686-1581. You can also e-mail us at email@example.com
or visit our website at www.cyrusmehta.com
This is Cyrus Mehta wishing you a wonderful weekend. See you again in two weeks