Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on October 1, 2013 that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses) it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification, during the suspension of federal government services. In addition, the OFLC's web sites, including the iCERT Visa Portal System, is not processing any requests or allowing authorized users to access their online accounts. The DOL has explained that these websites will be available again when the federal government resumes operations.
The unavailability of iCert could be detrimental to companies with employees whose H-1Bs are expiring and they do not yet have a certified LCA. The detrimental effect could result in the inability to hire new workers or extend the work authorization of current employees. We are awaiting guidance from USCIS to determine whether an uncertified LCA may be accepted given the circumstances.
In addition, during the government shutdown, employers are unable to file Labor Certification Applications (PERM). The unavailability of the Labor Certification website could potentially affect employers needing to file a PERM before an imminent recruitment expiration date or facing other timing issues relative to the PERM.
Companies that may be impacted by the shutdown should contact their Littler attorney in order to establish an alternative plan.