月別アーカイブ: 2022年12月

明けましておめでとうございます。HAVE A GOOD YEAR 2023

SW Law Group wishes everyone peace, happiness, and a prosperous new year. We are here to guide you and assist everyone. 新年明けましておめでとうございます。シンデル外国法法律事務所から皆様にお幸せ、そして、健康、ビジネスの成功も祈ります。2023年、よろしくお願いします。シンデル デービット。


Ever notice that Jews don’t traditionally wish each other “happy new year”?

Instead we say the Hebrew phrase “shanah tovah” which — in spite of the mistaken translation that appears on almost all greeting cards — has no connection at all to the expression “have a happy new year.”

Shanah tovahconveys the hope for a good year rather than a happy one. And the reason for that distinction contains great significance.

This past January, the Atlantic Monthly had a fascinating article titled There’s More to Life than Being Happy. The author, Emily Esfahani Smith, points out how researchers are beginning to caution against the pursuit of mere happiness. They found that a meaningful life and a happy life overlap in certain ways, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a “taker” while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a “giver.”





  • F-1、H-1B、H-2、H-3、L-1、O、P、Q、および関連ビザのうち該当するもの




大使館・領事館では、現地の状況に応じて、引き続き面接が必要とされる場合があります。申請者の皆様には、それぞれの大使館・領事館のウェブサイトにて、この件に関するより詳細な情報、および現在の運営状況やサービスについてご確認いただくことをお勧めします。詳しくは、Bureau of Consular affairs travel siteをご覧ください。

Waiver of Interviews Extended at US Embassies

Many of our clients have interviews at consulates throughout the world. Each embassy/consulate has it’s own regulations. The following news is from the Department of State.  However, the client still needs to check the embassy’s local website to determine if the type of visa is eligible for a waiver. The visas eligible for a waiver include the following categories

F-1, H-1B, H-2, H-3, L-1, O, P, Q and qualifying derivative visas.

The Department of State recognizes the positive impact of travel to the United States by foreign student and temporary work visa holders on the U.S. economy and is committed to facilitating nonimmigrant travel and further reducing visa wait times. We are pleased to announce that the Secretary of State has made a determination extending the authority of consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa categories through December 31, 2023.

Consular officers are authorized, through December 31, 2023, to continue to waive in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and/or renewing applicants. These categories of visas are for Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Academic Exchange Visitors (academic J visas), and certain beneficiaries of approved individual petitions for nonimmigrant temporary worker visas in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas), Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas), Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas); and qualifying derivatives. These waivers are authorized by a determination of the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security.

The authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration was previously authorized to remain in place until further notice.

These interview waiver authorities have reduced visa appointment wait times at many embassies and consulates by freeing up in-person interview appointments for other applicants who require an interview. Nearly half of the almost seven million nonimmigrant visas the Department issued in Fiscal Year 2022 were adjudicated without an in-person interview. We are successfully lowering visa wait times worldwide, following closures during the pandemic, and making every effort to further reduce those wait times as quickly as possible, including for first-time tourist visa applicants.

Embassies and consulates may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis and dependent upon local conditions. We encourage applicants to check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information about this development, as well as current operating status and services. For more information, visit the Bureau of Consular affairs travel site.

Slowdowns in China (US EMBASSY)


– 米国務省はこのほど、中国全土で急増する「COVID-19感染症」による業務上の影響から、中国の各領事館の領事業務を縮小することを発表した。

– 広州、瀋陽、武漢の米国総領事館は、追って通知があるまで、緊急の領事業務のみを行う予定です。

– 12月19日より、広州移民ビザは、リソースに限りがあるため、追って通知があるまで通常のビザサービスを終了します。

– 北京の米国大使館および上海の米国総領事館では、現在、パスポートおよび緊急市民サービスのみを提供しています。

– また、北京の米国大使館およびその他の総領事館で定期的に行われていた予約はすべてキャンセルされました。

– 非移民ビザ申請者は、https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cn/cn-niv-visaapply.asp の指示に従って、後日予約を変更することができます。

– 移民ビザ申請者は、https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/visas/immigrant-visas/immigrant-visa-unit-question/ をご参照ください。



Department of State slowdowns in China

  • The U.S. State Department recently announced  that consular operations at various consular posts in China, will be reduced because of operational impacts caused by the surge of COVID-19 infections” across the country. 
  • The U.S. Consulates General in Guangzhou, Shenyang and Wuhan will only be providing emergency consular services until further notice. 
  • Beginning Dec. 19, the Guangzhou Immigrant Visa until will be closed for regular visa services until further notice due to limited resources. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai are only providing passport and emergency citizen services at this time. 
  • All routine visa services, with the exception of some previously scheduled at the Consulate General in Shanghai, are temporarily suspended; all regularly scheduled appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the other Consulates General have been canceled. 
  • Nonimmigrant visa applicants can reschedule their appointment for a later date by following the instructions on https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cn/cn-niv-visaapply.asp
  •  Immigrant visa applicants should  consult  https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/visas/immigrant-visas/immigrant-visa-unit-question/

 for more information. 

EXPECT DELAYS in China for the time being. We will update you as more information becomes available.





SW LAW GROUP PC/シンデル外国法事務弁護士事務所

today straight from Yokohama Chinatown.. 今日の横浜中華街から。。ライブ。。














H-2B numbers increase.

The H2B Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers for temporary non-agricultural work. The work can be a one-time job, seasonal job, intermittent, or peak load. Non-agricultural seasonal workers, both skilled and unskilled, are eligible to apply for the H2B visa. Business trainers, construction workers, athletes, performers, and many others are all typical eligible candidates for this visa. The candidate must first have a job offer for a position for which there is a scarcity of U.S. workers willing or able to fill it. Congress set a numerical maximum of 66,000 H2B visas per fiscal year. 33,000 commencing in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 for employment commencing in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary final rule this week making additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for fiscal year 2023. This is the first time DHS and DOL have issued a single rule making H-2B’s available for several allocations throughout the entire fiscal year, including an allocation for the late second half.

  • DHS and the DOL are issuing a temporary  rule, making an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available for the 2023 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. The additional allotment will come on top of the 66,000 cap-subject H-2B visas that are typically available each fiscal year. 
  • The H-2B allocation includes about 44,700 visas for returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were granted H-2B status in the last three fiscal years and an allocation of 20,000 visas to workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras. 
  • These supplemental H-2B visas are for U.S. employers seeking to petition for additional workers at certain periods of the fiscal year before Sept. 15, 2023. 
  • Employers requesting an employment start date in the first half of fiscal year 2023 may file petitions as of Dec. 15, 2022, and must request employment start dates before April 1, 2023. 
  • Employers requesting an employment start date for the early second half of fiscal year 2023 must file petitions within 15 days after the second half statutory cap is reached and must request employment start dates between April 1, 2023, and May 14, 2023. 
  • Employers requesting an employment start date for the late second half of fiscal year 2023 must file petitions within 45 days after the second half statutory cap is reached and must request employment start dates between May 15, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2023. 
  • Petitions requesting supplemental allocations under this rule must be filed at the California Service Center. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not accept any requests for premium processing until Jan. 3, 2023, for petitions requesting returning workers, or workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti or Honduras with a start date in the first half of the fiscal year. 

This is exciting news for the H-2B category as it is opening up additional slots for workers to be employed in various areas.

Welcome Xiomara to our Tokyo Team

Welcome Xiomara "Alina Mendes to SW Tokyo
シオマラ・アリナ・メンデスを東京チームに歓迎します。 Alina は米国に留学し、カリフォルニア大学バークレー校で政治学の学士号を取得して卒業しました。 彼女は広島で育ち、英語、日本語、スペイン語のトリリンガルです。 私たちに入社する前は、ベイエリアの移民会社で 1 年間働いていました。

Welcome Xiomara Alina Mendez to our Tokyo team. Alina studied in the US and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The University of California, Berkeley. She grew up in Hiroshima and is trilingual.. English, Japanese, and Spanish. She worked for a year in an immigration firm in the Bay Area prior to joining us.





一般的にPERM申請の最初のステップは、PWD(Prevailing Wage Determination-


11月30日現在、National Prevailing Wage Centerでは、2022年1月以前に提出されたH-1B OESとPERM OESのケースのPrevailing Wageリクエストの処理が行われています(これはPWDの審査に、労働局による賃金調査の結果(OES wage survey)が使用されていることを意味します)。

最近は以前より、PERMが承認されるまで時間がかかる傾向にあるようです…。承認までは18~20ヶ月近くかかると思われます。今後の状況についてはwww.swlgpc.com/engをご確認いただくか、[email protected] までご連絡ください。


The Law Offices of Simone Bertollini, LLC, 2019-PER-00034 (May 31, 2022)において、BALCAは、イタリア語に堪能であることを要する職種のPERMを取り消したのは、履歴書上「(申請者が)最低限の資格を持ち、職務を遂行できた可能性を示し、したがって雇用主は面接をする義務がある 」とされる応募者を不採用にしたからだとしています。このケースでは、応募者は履歴書に「イタリア語の知識あり」と記載していました。「履歴書に、言語要件に関する情報が記載されていないわけではなかった」ため、応募者のイタリア語の「知識」がその職種の言語要件を満たす合理的な可能性があった、と判断されたのです。

2022年8月、BALCAは同様に、外国語要件を業務上定める必要がある場合、雇用主は 「米国人応募者がPERMフォーム9089に記載された職務要件を満たしていないことが履歴書上明らかであれば、応募者を不採用にすることができる 」と判示しました(T UP Trading, Inc., 2019-PER-00086 (Aug. 25, 2022))。T Up Tradingでは、雇用主はPERMフォーム9089のセクションH.14に「日本のスーパーマーケットのオーナーたちと電話、ファックス、電子メールでコミュニケーションを取るために、日本語を堪能に話し、かつ書くことができること 」が求められると記載していました。この要件の業務上の必要性は妥当であるとされたため、BALCAは、不採用者の「履歴書に、その求人の重要な募集要件に関する記載がなかったため、認定の取り消しは…支持できない」と判断しました。 この判決により、雇用主が適切な「教育、訓練、経験」の有無に基づいて応募者を採用することがフォームETA9089に示されていない場合で、重要な応募要件についての記載が履歴書にない応募者について、採用を検討する必要はないことが示されました。

外国語を必要とするポジションに対する労働許可申請については、20 CFR §656.17(h)(2) に基づき、監査の対象となりやすいことは、十分に立証されています。PERM労働者証明書を作成する際に、この要件の「業務上の必要性」を明確に文章化する方法については様々な記述があり、フォームETA 9089のセクションH.14を使用するDOLリエゾン委員会の実践資料にある監査の可能性を減らすためにすべきことに関する記述もその一つです。上記の事例では、申請書と監査対応を通じて言語要件の必要性が十分に立証されたことを認証官(CO)とBALCAが認めています。認定の取り消しは、雇用主が履歴書の記載内容に基づいて応募者を不採用にしたためです。うち1件は、履歴書に外国語の知識があることの記載があったため、応募者が最低限の資格を満たしていた可能性があり、少なくともそのポジションの面接がされるべきであった、とCOとBALCAは判断したのです。


  1. 特定の外国語能力の必要性を応募要件に加えることは労働局による監査につながりやすいため、雇用主はその証拠資料を準備をし、またフォームETA 9089のH.11とH.14にて明確に説明すること。
  2. そのポジションに応募する米国人応募者が、応募書類や履歴書において、求められる言語能力を保有している可能性を示した場合、雇用主は応募者に連絡を取り、そのポジションの要件を満たしているかどうかを判断するための面接を実施すること。


The US Department of Labor has updated processing times this week for our clients considering or applying for permanent residence.

PERM Processing: As of Nov. 30, the department was adjudicating applications filed in March and earlier, conducting audit reviews on applications filed in January and earlier, and reviewing appeals for reconsideration filed in May and earlier. 

Average PERM processing times: 

  • Adjudication – 249 days. 
  • Audit review – 368 days. 

SO, it’s taking in excess of 8 months to adjudicate a PERM from filing and if your case is audited, about a year.

The first step in a PERM is generally receiving a prevailing wage determination (PWD)

As of Nov. 30, the National Prevailing Wage Center was processing PWD requests filed in January 2022 and earlier for H-1B OES and PERM OES cases (this means that the PWD used a DOL wage source (OES wage survey)

In general, PERM seems to be taking longer these days.. The turnaround time is probably close to 18-20 months until certification.  Look for more updates at www.swlgpc.com/eng or write us at [email protected]

Practice Pointer: Recent BALCA Activity on Rejecting an Application Based on Foreign Language Requirements


The Law Offices of Simone Bertollini, LLC, 2019-PER-00034 (May 31, 2022)において、BALCAは、イタリア語に堪能であることを要する職種のPERMを取り消したのは、履歴書上「(申請者が)最低限の資格を持ち、職務を遂行できた可能性を示し、したがって雇用主は面接をする義務がある 」とされる応募者を不採用にしたからだとしています。このケースでは、応募者は履歴書に「イタリア語の知識あり」と記載していました。「履歴書に、言語要件に関する情報が記載されていないわけではなかった」ため、応募者のイタリア語の「知識」がその職種の言語要件を満たす合理的な可能性があった、と判断されたのです。

2022年8月、BALCAは同様に、外国語要件を業務上定める必要がある場合、雇用主は 「米国人応募者がフォーム9089に記載された職務要件を満たしていないことが履歴書上明らかであれば、応募者を不採用にすることができる 」と判示しました(T UP Trading, Inc., 2019-PER-00086 (Aug. 25, 2022))。T Up Tradingでは、雇用主はセクションH.14で、「日本のスーパーマーケットのオーナーたちと電話、ファックス、電子メールでコミュニケーションを取るために、日本語を堪能に話し、かつ書くことができること 」が求められると記載していました。この要件の業務上の必要性は妥当であるとされたため、BALCAは、不採用者の「履歴書に、その求人の重要な募集要件に関する記載がなかったため、認定の取り消しは…支持できない」と判断しました。 この判決により、雇用主が適切な「教育、訓練、経験」の有無に基づいて応募者を採用することがフォームETA9089に示されていない時、重要な応募要件についての記載が履歴書にない応募者について、採用を検討する必要はないことが示されました。

労働許可申請における外国語要件が20 CFR §656.17(h)(2) に基づく監査につながりやすいことは、十分に立証されています。PERM労働者証明書を作成する際に、この要件の「業務上の必要性」を明確に文章化する方法については様々な記述があり、フォームETA 9089のセクションH.14を使用するDOLリエゾン委員会の実践資料にある監査の可能性を減らすためにすべきことに関する記述もその一つです。上記の事例では、申請書と監査対応を通じて言語要件の必要性が十分に立証されたことを認証官(CO)とBALCAが認めています。認定の取り消しは、雇用主が履歴書の記載内容に基づいて応募者を不採用にしたためです。うち1件は、履歴書に外国語の知識があることの記載があったため、応募者が最低限の資格を満たしていた可能性があり、少なくともそのポジションの面接がされるべきであった、とCOとBALCAは判断したのです。


外国語要件は監査につながりやすいため、雇用主はその要件の業務上の必要性を文書化する準備をしなければならず、それはフォームETA 9089のH.11とH.14を用いて明確に説明されなければならないこと。

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently issued decisions in which the underlying PERM filing was denied because the employer rejected applicants based solely on a review of the resume. In both cases, BALCA agreed that the respective employers established that foreign language fluency was a business necessity for the position and that the requirement was clearly stated; however, in one case, the denial was vacated, and in the other, it was upheld. The difference hinges on the disqualification of applicants and raises the question of when it is acceptable to reject an applicant on the face of their resume.

In The Law Offices of Simone Bertollini, LLC, 2019-PER-00034 (May 31, 2022), BALCA affirmed the denial of a PERM certification for a position requiring fluency in Italian because the employer rejected an applicant whose resume “indicated the possibility that [the applicant] was minimally qualified and could have performed the job duties, and that the Employer therefore had an obligation to interview.” In this case, the applicant did list “knowledgeable in Italian” on the resume. Because the “resume was not silent on the language requirement,” the Board found that the applicant’s “knowledge” of Italian raised the reasonable possibility that the applicant met the language requirement.

In August 2022, BALCA similarly held that when a business necessity for a foreign language requirement is established, the employer may reject an applicant “if it is clear on the face of a resume that a U.S. applicant does not meet the job requirements listed on the Form 9089.” T UP Trading, Inc., 2019-PER-00086 (Aug. 25, 2022). In T Up Trading, the employer stated in Section H.14 that the job required fluency “in Japanese for both speaking and writing to communicate with owners of Japanese supermarkets via phone, fax and email.” Id. at 2. The business necessity was not disputed, and therefore, BALCA found that because the rejected applicants’ “resumes were silent on a principal requirement for the job opportunity, the denial…cannot be sustained.” Id. at 4. This decision also highlighted that because the Form ETA 9089 did not indicate that the employer would accept an applicant based on a suitable “combination of education, training and experience,” the employer was not required to consider applicants who did not list a major requirement on their resumes.

It has been well established that a foreign language requirement in a labor certification application is an audit trigger under 20 CFR §656.17(h)(2). Much has been written about how to clearly document the “business necessity” for this requirement when preparing a PERM labor certification case, including a DOL Liaison Committee practice resource on using Section H.14 of the Form ETA 9089 to reduce the potential for an audit. In these recent cases, the certifying officer (CO) and BALCA affirm that this necessity was sufficiently established on the face of the application and through audit responses. The denials were issued because the employer in each case rejected applicants on the face of the resumes. One denial was upheld because the resume stated some knowledge of the foreign language, and the CO and BALCA agreed that the applicant may have met the minimum qualifications and should have at least been contacted to interview for the position.

When it comes to preparing PERM applications for filing, if a foreign language requirement is key to the position, members are advised of two important reminders highlighted in these recent decisions:

  1. A foreign language requirement is an audit trigger, so the employer must be prepared to document the business necessity for the requirement, and this should be clearly outlined using H.11 and H.14 of the Form ETA 9089; and,
  2. If any U.S. applicants for the position indicate in their application materials and/or resume that there is the possibility that they possess the required foreign language, the employer must contact the applicants for an interview to determine if they qualify for the position.