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.

Do’s and


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

    the message.

  • 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

    support conclusions.

  • 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

highly productive.

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.

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