BALCA Upholds Denial Due to Lack of Travel Language in NOF

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Software Quality Engineer.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. After the Employer responded, the CO denied certification of the application for violating PERM Regulation 20 CFR 656.17 (f)(4) among other grounds. PERM regulation 656.17 (f)(4) requires that newspaper ads “must indicate the geographic area of employment with enough specificity to apprise applicants of any travel requirements and where applicants will likely have to reside to perform the job opportunity.” The Employer’s Notice of Filing and recruitment efforts listed Santa Clara, California ONLY; however, the ETA Form 9089 mentioned Santa Clara, California, and “various unanticipated locations throughout the U.S.”

Even though the Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO, he delivered a second denial and forwarded the case to BALCA for review. The Employer argued that the position did not necessitate travel and only listed it on the ETA Form to “allow for participation in events outside of the employer’s offices.” They insisted that the travel requirement was optional.

Upon review of this case, BALCA upheld the CO’s denial of labor certification. The Board believed the Employer had clearly violated PERM Regulation 20 CFR 656.17 (f)(4) by not informing US job applicants of the possibility of traveling to various locations. If US applicants knew about the option of various company locations, BALCA thought more potential applicants might have applied for the position.