Jan 04 2019

DOL iCERT System Expected to Reopen Monday, January 7

United States

At a glance

  • DOL expects to bring iCERT back online at 2:00 p.m. EST on January 7.
  • When the system resumes operations, employers will once again be able to create, edit and file H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 labor condition applications, H-2A/H-2B temporary labor certification applications and prevailing wage requests.
  • Because of a large backlog of H-2B and LCA filings, processing delays could increase for prevailing wage requests and PERM applications.

The situation

The Department of Labor’s iCERT system – the web-based portal used by employers to seek labor condition applications (LCAs), prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) and H-2A/H-2B temporary labor certifications – is scheduled to reopen Monday, January 7 at 2:00 p.m. EST.  The system has been offline since January 1, following a malfunction caused by an unprecedented surge in H-2B temporary labor certification application filings on the first day of the program’s semi-annual filing period. 

In a conference call with stakeholders today, senior DOL officials expressed confidence that the system would be fully operational on Monday. The agency has reportedly increased server capacity to handle the increase in filings. A backup system has also been put into place should another malfunction occur. 

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

Once iCERT becomes operational, employers will again be able to create, edit and file LCAs, H-2A/H-2B temporary labor certification applications and prevailing wage requests. However, because DOL has shifted resources to address the system outage, the surge in H-2A and H-2B filings, and the increase in LCA filings in advance of the upcoming H-1B cap season, the processing of prevailing wage requests and PERM labor certification applications could be delayed.

It is not yet known whether USCIS will provide a grace period for immigration cases that could not be filed timely due to the DOL outage. Fragomen continues to monitor iCERT operations and related issues, and will provide updates as they occur. 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.