Labor Department To Implement New Online Application System

The Department of Labor will soon implement a new integrated online system – known as the iCert Portal – through which employers will submit applications for permanent labor certification, labor condition applications (LCAs) and other applications for immigration-related DOL programs. In addition, the agency will introduce new editions of Form ETA-9089, the PERM labor certification application, and Form ETA-9035, the labor condition application. When fully implemented, the new system will replace the existing LCA and labor certification application systems. DOL will implement the new LCA and PERM application systems with 30-day transitional periods, when both the existing system and the new online portal will be operational simultaneously.

The new iCert system will begin to accept LCAs as of April 15, 2009 – after the April 1 opening date of the H-1B filing period for employment in Fiscal Year 2010. The system will begin to accept PERM applications beginning July 1, 2009.

In the near future, DOL is expected to make the iCert Portal available so that employers and their counsel can explore and become familiar with the new system. Sometime before the April 15 implementation date of the LCA portion of the system, iCert will go live to enable employers and their counsel to register and use the new portal.

Transition Period for New Portal and Application Forms

DOL will begin to implement the new LCA and PERM application systems with transitional periods, when both the current application system and the new iCert Portal will be operational simultaneously.

Labor Condition Application transition.

On April 15, DOL will begin to accept LCAs through the new system and on the new edition of Form ETA-9035. However, the agency will continue to accept LCAs through the existing system through May 14. Beginning May 15, 2009, the current LCA system will be disabled for new applications, but employers and their counsel will still be able to access the legacy system to check the status of pending cases and to withdraw LCAs. From May 15, 2009 onwards, employers will be required to use the iCert Portal and the new edition of Form ETA-9035 for all new LCAs.

Permanent labor certification transition.

On July 1, 2009, DOL will begin to accept applications for permanent labor certification through the iCert Portal and on the new edition of Form ETA-9089. However, the agency will continue to accept applications for labor certification through the legacy system through July 31. Beginning August 1, the legacy system will be disabled for new applications, but employers and their counsel will still be able to access the system to check the status of pending cases and to withdraw cases. From August 1 onwards, employers and their counsel will be required to use the iCert Portal and the new edition of Form ETA-9089 for all new applications for permanent labor certification.

More information on the implementation of the new DOL online system will be provided in the next issue of MVP Law Group’s Newsletter. We will explain other matters related to the new iCert system in a two-part article, which will impact many of MVP Law Group clients. The first of the two-part article will explain the changes with respect to LCAs. The LC changes will be explained in part two.