U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last week that they are implementing a 120-day period in which they will accept H-1B petitions filed without Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) certified by the Department of Labor (DOL).
USCIS has made this amendment to their regulations after receiving requests from members of the public asking them to allow acceptance of H-1B petition filings that include LCAs that have been filed with, but not yet certified by DOL. DOL’s implementation of the iCERT system has resulted in an increase in processing delays for certain LCA certifications. Certain employers and beneficiaries have been negatively affected by these increased processing times, limiting their ability to file H-1B petitions with USCIS in a timely fashion.
In order to accommodate those affected by processing delays of LCAs, USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions with uncertified LCAs on November 5, 2009 and will continue to accept these until March 4, 2010. However, USCIS will only accept such H-1B petitions if they are filed at least seven calendar days after the LCAs were filed with DOL and only if the petitioner provides evidence of this filing.