The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently introduced the prevailing wage functionality to the iCERT portal. As previously discussed, in our firm’s Immigration Update dated December 28, 2009, the DOL changed the prevailing wage issuance process as of January 1, 2010. After January 1, 2010, prevailing wage determinations are no longer issued by the State Workforce Agencies (SWA) for the H-1B and PERM processes. Instead, the prevailing wage determinations for these programs are now issued by the federal DOL. On January 21, 2010, the DOL added the prevailing wage functionality to its iCERT portal so that users can submit prevailing wage requests electronically to the DOL. Prior to this functionality being introduced, users could only submit prevailing wage determinations by mail to the DOL’s new National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (HPWHC) based in Washington, DC. However, now that the prevailing wage function has been added to the iCERT portal, users will be able to save prevailing wage applications in draft, withdraw submitted prevailing wage requests, reuse information on current prevailing wage applications to create new applications, request re-determination reviews of determinations that users disagree with, and view/manage all of the users’ prevailing wage determination/requests.
It is still unclear whether the electronic submission of the prevailing wage requests will expedite the processing of prevailing wage determinations. Although the DOL previously stated that it may take 30 days to receive prevailing wage determinations, the DOL was previously processing prevailing wage determinations for the H-2A and H-2B programs in approximately one week.