The Labor Condition Application (LCA) is a necessary component of a properly filed H-1B petition. As part of the application, employers attest that they will pay the H-1B worker the higher of the prevailing wage for that position in the geographic area of employment or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position.

The LCA is submitted online. In recent years, LCAs have been certified almost immediately. The U.S. Department of Labor, however, has announced new procedures to be implemented in 2009 that will increase the standard LCA processing times to seven days, or potentially even longer.

To ensure timely filing of H-1B petitions against the annual quota, employers must take this additional processing time into consideration when finalizing hiring plans for the upcoming H-1B quota. To ensure the ability to file on March 31, 2009, we recommend that employers plan to file LCAs as early as possible to ensure their timely approval prior to March 31 when the H-1B quota opens.

We strongly advise you to contact the Ogletree Deakins attorney with whom you normally work to initiate any new H-1B petitions as early as possible.