Details matter when it comes to immigration applications and it is increasingly more important for employers to make sure that they are complying with the letter of the law when it comes to employment and business immigration matters.
In some cases, an employer must receive a labor certification under the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) program before filing an employment-based immigrant visa application. The PERM process is the primary mechanism for employment-related green cards.
As part of the PERM labor certification process, immigration regulations require employers to “state” the addresses of the U.S. workers who applied for a job opportunity on its recruitment report – a requirement that can make or break a labor certification as seen recently in the Matter of JP Morgan Chase & Co. In this case, JP Morgan Chase filed an application for PERM labor certification for a vice president of mergers and acquisition. Instead of including the addresses of applicants, as required by immigration law, the company referenced the addresses as listed in the applicants’ resumes. Accordingly, the certifying officer denied the application for labor certification – a decision that the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) upheld.
Although the BALCA acknowledged that some omissions may be immaterial to the substance of an application, in this case, the BALCA found the reference to the resumes to be a “wholesale failure to provide an element of a report directly mandated by the regulations.” The BALCA reasoned that because the case was selected for supervised recruitment, the employer should have been put “on notice that special scrutiny is being placed on the application” since, among other things, supervised recruitment requires a more detailed recruitment report than those that are required under the basic labor certification process.
In other words, the BALCA held that employers “cannot shift the burden to the [Certifying Officer] to look through resumes to find the addresses of U.S. applicants.”