Immigration Quiz

Processing Times


There is a great variation in the time taken for processing labor certification applications between regional offices and State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) based upon their workload. All those regional offices and SWAs located in a high volume area with high populations of immigrants take more time to complete labor certification applications. The main factor that influences the length of time required to review and make decisions on labor certification applications is the volume of applications received.

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In the tables below the dates provided represent the date stamped on the labor certification application when it was received at the regional or state offices. You can estimate how close the regional office is to reviewing your application, if you know the date your application was transferred by the State Workforce Agency to the regional office.

For information pertaining to the status of your case, you may contact the appropriate regional office. Each regional office has a telephone information retrieval system that allows you to receive an automated response to the status of a case by using either the case number or the employer telephone number. N.B. - if the application has not reached the regional office which has jurisdiction over the SWA where the application was filed, you may contact the State Workforce Agency for updated information.

Backlog CentersWhat's happening with my application for Alien Employment Certification for Permanent Employment in the United States?

As part DOL's effort to improve the processing of permanent labor certification applications, Permanent cases from the Regional Offices and the State Workforce Agencies are being transferred to the ETA Backlog. Processing Centers. The centers will issue a "45-day letter" to the employer. The letter will ask the employer if it wishes to continue with the processing of the application. Additionally, the letter will inform the employer if any information from the application is missing. The employer will be given 45 days from the date of the letter to respond. If the employer fails to respond, the application will be closed.

Non-Receipt of 45-day Letters Process for Addressing Related Requests to Reopen

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is aware that some employers or their legal representatives who have received "case closed" letters may not have previously received a "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter ("45-day letter") from the Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) processing their respective cases. In addition, cases may have been closed after employers or their representatives responded timely to a 45-day letter. OFLC has developed a process and remedy available to employers who believe a case has been closed due to issues surrounding the receipt of or response to 45-day letters. To be considered for case reopening, all requests must be received by the appropriate BEC within 30 days of the publication of this policy announcement or within 30-days of the receipt of a case closed letter, whichever is later.

Why is my application being processed by a Backlog Processing Center?

ETA has established two (2) Backlog Processing Centers in accordance with an interim final rule published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2004. The rule allows them to consolidate state and Federal functions of the application review process into centralized locations. It is estimated with adequate resources that it will take approximately 24-30 months to eliminate the permanent program's backlog of cases.

Which Backlog Processing Center has my application?

Which Backlog Processing Center has your application depends upon the area of intended employment for the job opportunity identified in the Permanent application.

Philadelphia Backlog Processing Center

If the area of intended employment is in the following states or territories, questions should be directed to the Philadelphia Processing Center at the address listed below:

MassachusettsMississippiNew HampshireNew Jersey
New YorkNorth CarolinaPennsylvaniaPuerto Rico
Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaTennesseeVermont
Virgin IslandsVirginiaWashington DCWest Virginia

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Phone: (484) 270-1500
Fax: (484) 270-1600

Dallas Backlog Processing Center

If the area of intended employment is in the following states or territories, questions should be directed to the Dallas Processing Center at the address listed below:

MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Mexico
North DakotaOhioOklahomaOregon
South DakotaTexasUtahWashington

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
700 North Pearl St., Suite 400N
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 237-9111
Fax: (214) 237-9135

Backlogged Application Receipt DatesShipping Schedule:

Permanent case applications currently located at the SWAs and Regional Offices are being shipped to the Backlog Processing Centers in three phases based on local office receipt date.

PhaseLocal Office Receipt DateDate Due to Center
1Prior to January 2003Completed On 12-31-04
22003 to 2004No Later Than 03-31-05
32005No Later Than 04-22-05
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