DOL Changes iCERT System for H-2A and H-2B Programs

October 18, 2017

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

Simplicity written out of blocksIn an effort to provide better service and ensure that more complete H-2A and H-2B applications are submitted for review, the Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is releasing new enhancements to the iCERT System's application filing module that will help employers or, if applicable, their authorized attorneys or agents identify and upload required documentation supporting their applications. OFLC said new easy-to-understand steps and instructions "will serve to clarify regulatory filing requirements and improve the quality and consistency of H-2A and H-2B applications received for processing."

An employer seeking temporary labor certification under the H-2A or H-2B visa programs must submit an application and all required supporting documentation to the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) either electronically using the iCERT System or by U.S. mail.

Since 2013, the iCERT System has permitted employers or, if applicable, their authorized attorneys or agents to submit H-2A and H-2B applications online, electronically upload supporting documentation and receive all communications during the processing of their applications via email. For fiscal year 2017, more than 83 percent of H-2A applications and approximately 94 percent of H-2B applications were submitted electronically through the iCERT System. OFLC said that electronic submission of all required documentation at the time of filing "facilitates a more efficient and consistent review of the employer's application, and reduces the incidence of the OFLC Certifying Officer returning the incomplete application without further review or issuing a Notice of Deficiency to request missing documentation."

OFLC strongly encourages employers or, if applicable, their authorized attorneys or agents to download and read the Quick Start Guides associated with these new system enhancements, available in Adobe PDF format: H-2A program or H-2B program.