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Nonimmigrants on H-1B visas in specialty occupations and as fashion models; labor condition applications and requirements; filing procedures

Federal Register, April 1, 2005, Page 16774-16781

Agency

Employment and Training Administration, Labor

Action

Proposed rule; request for comments

Summary

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (the Department or DOL) is proposing to amend its regulations related to the H-1B and H-1B1 programs to generally require employers to use Web-based electronic filing of labor condition applications (LCAs). The H-1B program allows an employer in the United States to temporarily employ a foreign worker on a nonimmigrant basis in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. For its part, the H-1B1 program allows a U.S. employer to temporarily employ on a nonimmigrant basis in a specialty occupation a foreign worker from a country with which the U.S. has reached trade or  other agreements listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (now Chile and Singapore). ETA anticipates that increasing e-filing of H-1B and H-1B1 labor condition applications, and reducing U.S. Mail and fax-based filings, will enhance the effectiveness of the H-1B and H-1B1 programs, reduce costs and delays, and will match a U.S. employer with a qualified H-1B or H-1B1 worker in a more timely fashion. This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) also proposes technical and clarifying amendments to ETA's H-1B and H-1B1 regulations to correct terminology and addresses, update internal agency procedures, and clarify text. Among these amendments are provisions to reflect Congressional reinstatement of certain attestation obligations applicable to employers who are H-1B dependent or who have committed willful violations of H-1B requirements.

Dates

To ensure consideration, comments must be received on or before May 2, 2005.

Addresses

You may submit comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1205-AB39, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments. E-mail: Comments may be submitted by e-mail to h1b.comments@dol.gov. Include RIN 1205-AB39 in the subject line of the message. U.S. Mail: Submit written comments to the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 20210, Attention: William Carlson, Chief, Division of Foreign Labor Certification. Because of security measures, mail sent to Washington, DC is sometimes delayed. We will only consider comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or other delivery service on or before the deadline for comments. Instructions: All submissions received must include the RIN 1205-AB39 for this rulemaking. Receipt of submissions will not be acknowledged. Because DOL continues to experience occasional delays in receiving postal mail in the Washington, DC area, commenters using mail are encouraged to submit any comments early. Comments will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the address listed above for mailed comments. Persons who need assistance to review the comments will be provided with appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. Copies of this proposed rule may be obtained in alternative formats (e.g., large print, Braille, audiotape, or disk) upon request. To schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or to obtain the proposed rule in an alternative format, contact the Division of Foreign Labor Certification at (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number).

Further Information

Contact Rachel Wittman, Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Foreign Labor Certification, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room C-4312, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-3010 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone numbers above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

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