Stricter Travel Requirements from the Department of Labor

Recently, an unlikely department has been tightening their travel requirements, the Department of Labor.
In 2010, ETA Form 9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) was amended to include a question on travel. Later, in 2014, the Department of Labor released a Practice Alert titled ‘PERM Travel Bug Advisory’ which detailed ‘unofficial guidance as to how and when to reference travel’ on ETA Form 9141. According to the alert, “the travel bug has evolved such that today, the rule of thumb is this: If the position involves travel, list it everywhere, including the ETA 9141 prevailing wage request, and for PERM cases, the ETA 9089, job order, notice of filing, and advertising.”1 As long as this rule  is followed, applicants have seen very little pushback or resistance from the Department of Labor with regards to travel requirements. But a recent influx of Requests for Information proves that is no longer the case. The Department of Labor is requesting more specific travel details/language. It is no longer enough to mention that the position will require travel and/or relocation, applicants also need to specify the nature and frequency of travel.
How can applicants work with the Department of Labor to avoid Request for Information regarding travel moving forward? Simple, they need to be as detailed as possible with regards to travel requirements.
Applicants should consider the following guidelines when drafting the travel requirements:
  1. Differentiate between travel and relocation;
  2. Include percentage of time that will be spend travelling;
  3. Specify where the travel will occur (within branch offices, within county, within city, within state, throughout U.S., internationally, etc.); and
  4. Specify the nature of the travel (i.e. Construction Managers travelling to various construction sites throughout a state, Software Engineers traveling to a client’s office in another state, etc.).
With the ever-changing regulations and policies, it is essential for applicants to be proactive in including as much detail as possible at the onset of the ETA Form 9141.  For case-specific questions, help filing ETA Form 9141, or more information regarding traveling requirements, contact the trusted immigration team at Chugh, LLP.

1 AILA Document – Practice Alert: PERM Travel Bug Advisory

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