WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced updates to its procedures for processing H-2B applications.
Because of the intense competition for H-2B visas in recent years, there have been challenges to handle the increasingly large volume of H-2B applications filed on January 1 of each year. As a result of stakeholder comments and the most recent filing period in which the iCERT electronic filing system crashed due to the large volume of system user requests, Office of Foreign Labor Certification reassessed its procedures for processing H-2B applications.
OFLC announced that all H-2B applications filed on or after July 3, 2019 will be randomly ordered for processing based on the date of filing and the start date of work requested. OFLC will randomly order and process all of the H-2B applications requesting the earliest start date of work permitted under the semi-annual visa allocation (i.e., October 1 or April 1) and filed during the first three calendar days of the regulatory time period for filing H-2B applications. Once first actions are issued, OFLC will randomly assign for processing all other H-2B applications filed on a single calendar day.
OFLC is seeking comments on this procedural change for a period of 30 calendar days from the date that the notice is published in the Federal Register. Interested stakeholders may submit comments to H2BReform.Comments@dol.gov or Thomas M. Dowd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Box PPII 12-200, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210. OFLC will review all of the comments received, make any changes it determines are appropriate, and issue a final announcement prior to July 3, 2019.