The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in anticipation of Congress’s enactment of H.J. Res 117, which prohibits the Department of Labor from expending funds to implement the 2011 H-2B wage rule for the duration of that continuing resolution, the Department expects to publish a final rule extending the effective date of the 2011 wage rule to March 27, 2013. It has not yet been published in the Federal Register but is available here.

Also, DOL announced the implementation of electronic filing for nonimmigrant temporary labor certification applications under the H-2A and H-2B visa programs through the iCERT Visa Portal System (iCERT System), available here. Employers or their authorized representatives may submit H-2B applications electronically beginning on October 15, 2012, and H-2A applications beginning on December 10, 2012.

DOL will hold four webinar training sessions (two for filing in the H-2B program and two for filing in the H-2A program) to orient program users to electronic filing through the iCERT system. These sessions will be announced on the OFLC’s Web site (http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/) once dates are finalized. Employers or their authorized representatives choosing not to use this new filing option must continue to file their H-2A and H-2B applications with DOL using the traditional paperbased filing method.

The electronic filing notice is available here.