The Department of Labour (DOL) has introduced its electronic
review officers and launched its new online portal – the Foreign Labour Application Gateway
(FLAG). Speakers at the workshop included senior DOL
representatives, centre directors, tech personnel, review officers,
prevailing wage specialists and help-desk assistants from the
DOL’s Chicago, Atlanta and Washington offices.
While the FLAG portal does not yet have a module for Programme
Electronic Review Management (PERM) applications (Form 9098), it is
up and running for all:
- labour condition applications;
- temporary H-2A (temporary
certification for agricultural workers) and H-2B (temporary labour
certification for non-agricultural workers) applications; and
- prevailing wage applications.
The site is easy to navigate and understand, but some start-up
bugs should be expected. For a smoother operation, stakeholders
should consider the following do’s and don’ts:
- When uploading attachments, users
must click on the save button because there is no auto-prompt to
save attachments which are intended to be transmitted together with
- When withdrawing an application,
users must indicate the withdrawal at the beginning of the document
so that officers can find it easily.
- The comment section in FLAG is the
best way to get points across; it allows officers to understand
what users are trying to tell them straight away, instead of having
to read through all of the uploaded material.
- Attachments should be used only to
- Employers cannot shop for a lower
prevailing wage by tailoring the elements of the job offer.
- Licences and special certifications
must always be stated clearly for ease of processing.
- Changes of contact information may be
made for pending cases on FLAG anytime up to a final decision.
- Changes of attorneys may be made
online only by employers, which must authorise a sub-account for
- The same email address should be used
for all communications with the DOL.
- DOL email addresses should be
de-spammed so that they always appear in users’ inboxes
– this is stakeholders’ responsibility.
- Changes of contact information for
employers with multiple applications can be accomplished by sending
one notice because the DOL can use batch files for this
- The DOL encourages all responses to
be made via uploads and not email; duplicate responses via upload
and email should be avoided.
- Tear sheets may be accompanied by a
blow-up view to make the ads easier to read.
- Extensions should be requested as
soon as possible and always with good cause. Such cause should be
stated clearly and all communications should include the PERM case
Stakeholder discussions are held four times a year and are
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.