DOL Releases FAQ on H-2A, H-2B iCERT Implementation
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) released a FAQ (PDF) in December 2012 on H-2A and H-2B iCERT implementation. The iCERT visa portal system is a Web-based filing and case management platform that provides access to program services across the foreign labor certification programs that OFLC administers.
Among other things, the FAQ notes that employers or their authorized representatives filing in the H-2A program may now file their applications electronically through iCERT. H-2B applications have been accepted through iCERT since October 15, 2012.
The FAQ also states that when filing electronically through iCERT, the preparer must upload all required supporting documentation before submitting the application. Additional documentation cannot be uploaded in connection with the application after submission. Where an employer receives a Request for Further Information (RFI) (H-2B program) or a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) (H-2A program), the employer must respond to the RFI or NOD by providing the additional required documents and information to the Chicago National Processing Center by e-mail or mail, outside of the iCERT System.
The FAQ advises preparers to “remember to upload a scanned copy of the signed and dated program-specific appendix (Appendix B.1 for the H-2B program, or Appendix A.2 for the H-2A program) and all required supporting documentation before submitting an application.” For job contractors filing under the H-2B program as joint employers with their employer-clients, a separate attachment containing the employer-client’s business and contact information (i.e., Sections C and D of the ETA Form 9142) and a signed and dated Appendix B.1 for the employer-client is still required and must be scanned and uploaded, along with a description of the relationship between the job contractor and the employer-client, before electronically filing the application.
When the Certifying Officer has made a determination to grant temporary labor certification, the employer will receive an original certified ETA Form 9142 and, depending on the program, Appendix B.1 (for H-2B) or A.2 (for H-2A) issued on blue security paper, the FAQ notes. Upon receipt of the original certified ETA Form 9142, the employer and, if applicable, the employer’s attorney or agent must promptly sign and date the appendix containing the requisite program assurances and obligations. A job contractor filing in the H-2B program will also receive its employer-client’s ETA Form 9142 Sections C and D page and Appendix B.1, issued on blue security paper, which the employer-client and, if applicable, the employer-client’s attorney or agent must promptly sign and date.