Delays in processing of LCAs for H1B Petitions

As many of you know, an H1B Petition cannot be approved until and unless, the Department of Labor certifies the Labor Condition Application (LCA). This LCA is very different from the Labor Certification (LC) often required in order to obtain permanent resident status/”green card” status.

When filing an H1B Petition, the employer must file attestations with the Department of Labor (DOL) – U.S. employers must attest that the wage is at least that offered to similarly situated employees and above the prevailing wage and file the wage with Department of Labor.

Failure to comply with DOL regulations could result in an audit, civil penalties, a requirement to pay back wages, and even debarment from participating in key immigration programs.

The law requires the that regional Department of Labor (DOL) offices process LCAs within seven (7) days. At the time of the enactment of the law, AILA had expressed concern that delays in processing could occur and we were assured that the delay would not impact the business community since the law has a seven (7) day cap. Based on the limit placed in the law, AILA grudgingly agreed to the LCA certification for H1B Petitions.

However, many of you may have been experiencing substantial delays by the DOL in different regions of the U.S. For example, in New York and New Jersey, the DOL regional office is taking several months to certify the LCA for a H1B Petition.

These delays are causing tremendous hardship to fail to respond for weeks and even months. The American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) has announced that it is interested in hearing from persons and/or businesses who have been affected by delays in processing LCA’s. If you or your company have experienced or are experiencing such delays, please contact the Law Office of Sheela Murthy by email ([log in to unmask]) or fax so that we may submit it for appropriate action to AILF.

An interesting tid-bit of information about H1B statistics is that the top 5 source countries for H-1B professionals currently are: India, the United Kingdom, Japan, Philippines and Germany.

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