The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has unveiled “iCERT,” a new electronic system for submitting the H-1B labor condition application (LCA) and the application for permanent labor certification (PERM).
New forms have also been released. Both revised forms require more information and details about the employer, employee, job title, and attorney.
Under current DOL procedures, an employer seeking to hire an H-1B worker from another company can do so quickly—in a matter of one or two days—by filing an H-1B petition request that includes an LCA certified by the DOL. Effective July 1, 2009, the DOL LCA system will change such that the LCA will no longer be certified within seconds but instead may take seven or more days to be issued. Employers will thus no longer have the option of near-immediate employment eligibility for H-1B employees hired from other companies.
The iCERT portal, located here, is available for the submission of ETA 9035Es (electronic LCA applications). The current electronic LCA system will continue to be available through June 30, 2009. However, effective July 1, 2009, the LCA for the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs will be available for submission only through the iCERT portal system. The Department plans to deactivate the current electronic version of the ETA 9035E on July 1, 2009.
The PERM labor certification application, Form ETA 9089, will become available for application submission on September 1, 2009. To allow for an appropriate transition, the legacy system and the new iCERT system will both be active during the month of September. However, beginning October 1, 2009, PERM applications will be submitted electronically only through iCERT system accounts.
The Department plans to deactivate the current electronic version of the Form ETA 9089 on October 1, 2009. The Department is encouraging employers to copy all necessary application information into the new iCERT system before the deactivation dates. The status of applications submitted before deactivation will continue to be available through current system accounts.
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has implemented a Help Desk Unit for program assistance at the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) to serve as a resource to employers and their representatives in filing LCAs.
Program-related questions may be e-mailed to LCA at Chicago@dol.gov. The LCA Help Desk e-mail box will be monitored by the CNPC from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.