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Practice Note
 
DOL Backlog Center Cases Not Disposed in Strict Chronicle Order Due to Various Factors

Since the establishment of the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs), questions have been repeated raised about how the order of case adjudication is determined.  On November 3, 2005, the Department of Labor issued its explanation about its procedure.  As the DOL explains, the cases pending in the BEC are not disposed in strict chronicle order due to various factors.

According to the DOL, although the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs) and ETA regional offices processing labor certification applications do follow FIFO procedures, a number of factors impact the order in which a case ultimately reaches disposition, relative to other cases in the permanent labor certification process.

In developing the backlog reduction system, the DOL determined the most efficient approach was to establish two centers, which means applications will be processed in two locations. However, the overall productivity rate for the two centers is approximately the same.

In some cases, applications with an earlier priority date may be processed or reach disposition later than newer applications. Assuming two applications with the same priority date, there are several factors that account for different processing times for some applications. These include the type of application (RIR vs. TR), the stage of processing at which the application was received by the BEC (applications received from the regions have recruitment completed, and so are further along than those received from the states), the dates of other applications pending at each center (which determines each application's place within the FIFO queue), the quality of the application (applications that raise questions take longer), and the response time of the employer to center requests for confirmation to continue processing the application.

 


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