The American Immigration Lawyers Association has learned that the U.S. Department of Labor will soon announce a window of safety for employers that wish to convert their pending traditional labor certification applications to Reduction in Recruitment (RIR). Employers will be able to notify the DOL that they plan to submit a conversion request, and then will have a specified amount of time to actually submit the conversion request including recruitment information. During this time frame, the employer will be protected to go ahead and conduct its recruitment without concern about receiving the recruitment instructions and thus having the RIR recruitment be wasted.

The window period will not be long, as the DOL does not want to stop the recruiting order process on its backlog reduction efforts for long. Therefore, if you have traditional applications pending that you want to convert, it is suggested that you start talking to you clients about it and doing some advance preparation. The announcement is expected to come during the week of December 11, 2006, and the window period to start running immediately. Specifics of this window are not known at this time.