On January 1, 2019, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) iCERT system experienced a malfunction following an unprecedented surge in H-2B temporary labor certification filings on the first day of the program’s semi-annual filing period. After being offline for several days, DOL brought the iCERT system back online on January 7, 2019.
iCERT is 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. On January 4, DOL had a conference call with stakeholders to announce that they had increased server capacity to handle the increase in filings and implemented a backup system in the event that another malfunction occurs with the iCERT system.
Now that the iCERT system is operational again, employers have the ability to create, edit, and file LCAs, H-2A/H-2B temporary labor certification applications and prevailing wage requests. However, the surge in H-2A and H-2B filings as well as the increase in LCA filings in advance of the upcoming H-1B cap season, there may be a delay to prevailing wage requests and PERM labor certifications.
It is unclear whether USCIS will provide a grace period for immigration cases that could not be filed timely due to the iCERT outage.
Lastly, although the federal government is still undergoing a shutdown, DOL remains fully funded for FY 2019 and is therefore unaffected by the shutdown.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions regarding this matter.