February 15, 2024. Employment and Training Administration Extends Comment Period for Stakeholders to Respond to PERM Schedule A Request for Information

On December 21, 2023, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register, soliciting public input on potential revisions to Schedule A of the permanent labor certification process to include occupations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), including Artificial Intelligence related occupations and non-STEM occupations, for which there may be an insufficient number of ready, willing, able, and qualified United States workers.

In the RFI, ETA invited public comment on “evaluating the utility of expanding Schedule A to include STEM occupations” and “input on the appropriate data sources and methods for determining whether labor shortages exist, whether Schedule A should be used to alleviate any labor shortages in STEM occupations should it be determined from these data sources and methods that such shortages exist, and if so, how the Department could establish a reliable, objective, and transparent methodology for identifying STEM occupations that are experiencing labor shortages.” 88 FR 88294. In addition, the RFI requested that interested parties answer a set of questions necessary to make this evaluation.

To date, ETA has received a very limited number of comments, only a few of which have responded to the questions posed in the RFI. The public comment period for this RFI was set to conclude on February 20, 2024, 60 days after publication of the RFI. Due to the limited number of comments received and in response to a request from a stakeholder to extend the comment period, ETA has issued a Federal Register notice extending the comment period until May 13, 2024, to ensure robust feedback from interested parties and to address the stakeholder’s request.