What’s the Matter with iCERT?

Numerous glitches exist in the new LCA iCERT system. Is it really an improvement?

The Department of Labor (DOL) publicly states that the new incarnation of iCERT is a boon to immigration attorneys and their beleaguered staffs. If only this were true. Some users of the newest system express a degree of frustration hitherto never expressed. It’s been called a bureaucratic quagmire. Here’s why.

Various attorneys and employers report that the DOL requests copies of the underlying wage surveys and proceeds to deny the associated labor condition application (LCA) if the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) deems the wage survey does not comply with specified wage criteria in the regulations. Samples of some obvious inaccuracies include incomplete regulation forms, a wage that is lower than the minimum wage rate, an offered wage that is lower than the stated prevailing wage rate and the employer’s debarment from filing LCAs or similar errors. Determining whether a prevailing wage source is appropriate clearly falls outside the scope of ETA authorized review of the ETA 9035. While employers are required to use alternate wage surveys that comply with the standards set forth at 655.731 (b) (3) (iii), there is no authorization in the regulation for ETA to screen or approve the alternate wage survey prior to certifying the LCA. The seven day mandatory processing time does not include any exceptions or extensions for further review of supporting materials of an LCA.

Another issue is iCERT denials for lack of FEIN, or because FEIN is represented as a social security number. Several employers and attorneys have reported denials of iCERT LCAs when a valid FEIN is submitted, but DOL does not recognize it as being valid.

Several instances of PERM denials have based on the appropriateness of newspaper listings have been reported. Under the new iCERT system, it is difficult to discover any clarifications that may be relevant to these denials.

If these obvious glitches weren’t enough, even communication channels with DOL employees regarding iCERT questions have often been lacking. A report of legal staffers being unable to contact the appropriate officials has led to strident accusations of iCERT having already metamorphosed into a bureaucratic quagmire. Where will the madness end?

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee or to learn more about Houston immigration lawyer, immigration lawyer in Houston, Houston immigration attorney, visit their information filled web site at Visatous.com.