USCIS Announces New Filing Procedures for I-140 Petitions; Eliminates Labor Certification Substitution

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is instituting new procedures for filing a Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) that requires an approved labor certification application.  These procedural changes are in response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule on labor certifications published on May 17, 2007.

The new regulation will significantly impact the filing of Form I-140 petitions with USCIS because it:

* Prohibits substitution of alien beneficiaries on any permanent labor certification application after the application has been filed with the DOL.

* Establishes a 180-day time period within which a DOL-approved labor certification must be filed with the USCIS in support of a Form I-140 petition in order to remain valid.

* Requires that any labor certification approved by DOL prior to July 16, 2007 be filed with USCIS in support of a Form I-140 petition within 180 days after the effective date of the DOL final rule (July 16, 2007) in order for the certification to remain valid.

USCIS will continue to accept and adjudicate labor certification substitutions until the effective date of July 16, 2007.   

Please note that any I-140 petition that is filed outside of the labor certification effective dates outlined above will be rejected by the USCIS.

Also, the new DOL rules require that employers pay all attorney’s fees and other costs associated with the labor certification process after the effective date of July 16, 2007.

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