DOL Issues Notice on Change for H-2B Labor Certification Period of Need

February 22, 2018

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.

Seasonal work signThe Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) alerted employers and other interested stakeholders on January 17, 2018, about a process change "to better assure fairness regarding the issuance of H-2B temporary labor certifications due to the unprecedented volume of applications received on January 1, 2018."

Among other things, the alert notes that H-2B employers receiving Notices of Acceptance can proceed to meet the additional regulatory requirements, including recruitment of U.S. workers and submission of recruitment reports. Employers receiving Notices of Deficiency that are corrected, and who then receive a Notice of Acceptance, can also proceed to meet the additional regulatory requirements.

The alert states that OFLC is making a change to its process regarding the issuance of final labor certification decisions. This process change "will better reflect the sequential order in which employers filed applications," the alert notes. OFLC will not begin releasing certified H-2B applications (Form ETA-9142B, Application for Temporary Employment Certification) until February 20, 2018. On that day, OFLC will release certified H-2B applications that have met all regulatory requirements as of that day in sequential order based on the original calendar day and time the application was filed (i.e., receipt time). Thereafter, OFLC will continue to release certified H-2B applications in a sequential manner until all applications are released. OFLC will continue to issue rejections, withdrawals and denials of labor certification applications in accordance with standard procedures. This process change "will allow employers who filed promptly on January 1, 2018, sufficient time to meet regulatory requirements, including the recruitment and hiring of qualified and available U.S. workers, thus preserving the sequential order of filing that took place on January 1, 2018, to the extent possible," the alert states.

View the alert  (scroll down to January 17, 2018).