On April 21, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that after May 15, 2023, at 6:59 p.m. EST, they would no longer accept ETA-9089 applications via their legacy PERM Online System. Thereafter, all ETA-9089 applications must be filed using the DOL’s FLAG system, and OFLC will no longer accept the previous version of Form ETA-9089 either electronically or by mail.
To assist with the transition, OFLC announced that ETA-9089 filers may begin preparing applications in FLAG starting April 24, 2023. To familiarize stakeholders with the new ETA-9089 application, OFLC conducted two webinars prior to the announcement.
In addition to being hosted on a new platform, there are many updates in the new ETA-9089 form, including a general overhaul of the formatting and ordering of requested information. Some of the most notable updates include the following:
- employee information has been moved to Appendix A instead of being incorporated in the primary section of the form;
- the new form pulls information directly from the Prevailing Wage Determination issued within the FLAG system;
- a question that specifically involves Kellogg language;
- a place for employers to identify the number of employees at the PERM worksite; and
- a place for employers to identify where the employee gained the qualifying experience with the qualifying skills.
Additionally, filing ETA-9089 on the FLAG system alleviates the need for employers to create a separate account on the legacy filing system to file applications.
The changes in the ETA-9089 form and the move to the FLAG platform marks a significant change in the preparation and filing of the application that is the basis for many employment-based green cards. How the anticipated and unanticipated consequences of the updates may impact the user experience and filing of these applications remains to be seen.