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Q: I heard that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a new and faster way of processing labor certifications (LCs). Is that true?

A: Yes, after much anticipation and extended delays, DOL has finally published a new regulation known as Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). PERM will take effect on March 28, 2005.

Q: How will the PERM program work and what is the anticipated processing time of LCs under the new rules?

A: PERM is the first attestation-based pro-gram that permits electronic filing of LCs. The DOL promises a 45-60 day turnaround time to process PERM applications.

Q: If my employers have already filed for my LC under the old program, are they allowed to re-file my application under the new program?

A: Yes, your employer is allowed to file new labor certification under PERM while another LC (previously filed on your behalf) is pending adjudication.

Q: How do I benefit by having my sponsor re-file my LC?

A: That depends on how far along the LC is in the DOL processing queue and whether or not you are affected by the latest EB3 retrogression. The most obvious benefit, for the vast majority of applicants, is the amount of time they will save by utilizing PERM.

Q: Can I petition for my mother, who lives in India, to immigrate to the United States once I receive my green card?

A: No, according to the current law you have to be a U.S. citizen.

Q: Over two years have passed since I filed my adjustment of status application (Form I-485) and I have yet to be called in for my interview. How should I proceed further?

A: Unfortunately, these types of bureaucratic delays occur more often then we would like. There is no simple answer to your question. I recommend contacting an experienced immigration attorney and/or your congressman’s office.

Q: My daughter, who has been issued a green card and a Re-entry Permit, is currently living in India. Can she apply for U.S. citizenship while living abroad?

A: Yes, so long as she otherwise meets the criteria for the Naturalization, including, but not limited to, continuous residence in the United States.

Q: While my Labor Certification is in process, can I make a trip to India?

A: Yes, so long as you have maintained your lawful nonimmigrant status and are eligible for a U.S. visa upon your return.

James E. Root, Esq., manages an exclusive immigration law practice with two offices in L.A. and Orange counties. (888) ROOT-LAW.