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On October 31, 2013, the Department of Labor issued detailed guidance regarding the handling of applications and responses after the government shutdown. The Office of the Foreign Labor Certifications (OFLC) is implementing temporary changes to its standard procedures related to document timeliness.

Specifically, employers with time-sensitive recruitment or prevailing wage determinations who did not submit timely PERM or H-2B applications because of the shutdown can now file. The filing will be deemed timely as long as it is filed no later than November 14, 2013. H-2A, H-2B, and PERM deadlines where the due dates for responses were during the shutdown will have their due dates extended to November 14, 2013. If an applicant transmitted an application or response by mail, hand-delivery or e-mail between October 1 and October 18,2013, and the employer has not received notice that the transmission was undeliverable, the employer should not re-submit the transmitted item.

The changes in the OFLC’s procedures are only temporary and certain deadlines apply. Therefore, it is very important to contact experienced counsel in a timely manner if your application has been affected by the government shutdown.