Due to a technical error, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification at the Department of Labor has inadvertently withdrawn some pending traditional and Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) labor certification applications in the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs). The DOL misidentified these cases as pending re-file in the Labor Certification for the Permanent Employment of Aliens in the United States (PERM) system. This occurred for cases in which an application under PERM was filed or approved for the same employer and employee. Applications were withdrawn even if question 1A on the PERM application, regarding whether the applicant seeks to use the filing date from a previously submitted Applicant for Alien Employment Certification (ETA form 750), was answered “no.”

Importantly, the DOL reports that some applications that were incorrectly withdrawn have not received notice of the withdrawal. It is currently working to reset cases that have been improperly withdrawn. These cases will be returned to their former places in the processing queue, and original priority dates will be maintained. Notably, the DOL is not resetting cases in which a PERM applicant answered “yes” to question 1A.

The DOL indicated that applicants could check their status after December 1, 2006, on the Backlog Public Disclosure System. This system is a site for employers, attorneys, agents, and aliens to determine the status of an application filed with a Backlog Elimination Center. It can be accessed at http://pds.pbls.doleta.gov/. If a case is still showing “withdrawn,” the DOL reports that it will work out a mechanism to address the issue.