Schedule A is a government tool for responding to and supporting the hiring needs of U.S. employers. The Department of Labor (DOL) is permitted to pre-certify when there are insufficient numbers of U.S. workers available, as long as hiring a foreign national would not have a negative impact on wages or U.S. workers. Such pre-certifications, collectively called Schedule A, mean that employers go directly to the Department of Homeland Security to file a petition proving eligibility for a foreign-born worker without requiring a full labor certification process.
While the list of pre-certified occupations has not been updated in decades, DOL recently published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on methods for modernizing Schedule A, as well as recommendations for specific occupations, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, that should be added.
FWD.us supports modernizing Schedule A to strengthen American competitiveness, reduce bureaucracy and save taxpayer dollars. Specifically, FWD.us recommends that the Schedule A list be updated to:
- Provide more certainty and predictability to global talent and U.S. employers alike
- Include occupations in semiconductors, artificial intelligence (AI), and other critical and emerging technology sectors
- Recognize credentials and qualifications beyond strict lists of occupation titles