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DOL Announces Enhancement of iCERT System to Streamline Processing in H-2A and H-2B Programs

along with: In an effort to help mitigate delays associated with connecting State Workforce Agency (SWA) documentation to the employer’s pending H-2A or H-2B application and provide employers with better customer service, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced an update to its iCERT System to allow authorized SWA staff to electronically upload supporting documentation and other information directly to the employer’s pending application for immediate review by the assigned Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) analyst. Initially, OFLC will be implementing this update in 33 states, with the goal of nationwide implementation by September 30, 2018.

In an effort to help mitigate delays associated with connecting State Workforce Agency (SWA) documentation to the employer’s pending H-2A or H-2B application and provide employers with better customer service, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced an update to its iCERT System to allow authorized SWA staff to electronically upload supporting documentation and other information directly to the employer’s pending application for immediate review by the assigned Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) analyst. Initially, OFLC will be implementing this update in 33 states, with the goal of nationwide implementation by September 30, 2018.

DOL Announces Changes to Its iCERT System for H-2A and H-2B Programs

For FY2017, more than 83 percent of H-2A applications and approximately 94 percent of H-2B applications were submitted electronically through the iCERT System with very little system disruption during the peak filing season. In an effort to provide better service and ensure more complete H-2A and H-2B applications are submitted for review, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will release new enhancements to the iCERT System on or about October 10, 2017.

DHS and DOL Issue Joint Temporary Rule Increasing the H-2B Cap

DHS and DOL published a temporary rule in the Federal Register, increasing the H-2B cap for the remainder of FY2017 by an additional 15,000 visas, effective from July 19, 2017, through September 30, 2017. USCIS provided additional information regarding who can petition for these additional visas, how to file an H-2B petition under this one-time increase, filing information, and filing deadlines. Employers will be required to complete a Form ETA 9142-B-CAA, certifying that their business is in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers.

H-2B Cap reached for 2017

USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for FY2017. March 13, 2017, was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2017.

USCIS Updates the H-2B Cap Count

As of May 2, 2016, USCIS had receipted 32,620 beneficiaries towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2016. This count includes 26,426 approved and 6,194 pending beneficiaries.

USCIS Updates the H-2B Cap Count

As of April 25, 2016, USCIS had receipted 29,030 beneficiaries towards the 33,000 cap for the second half of FY2016. This count includes 23,421 approved and 5,609 pending beneficiaries.

DOL Releases Emergency H-2B Guidance on Implementing the 2016 DOL Appropriations Act

The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 114-113), signed into law on December 18, 2015, contains several provisions in Division H, Title I impacting the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) administration of the H-2B temporary nonagricultural visa program.

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