What is the purpose of a Labor Condition Application?
An LCA is the first step an employer takes towards formally hiring a foreign employee. It is an application that outlines proposed wages, working conditions, and proof that the employer took adequate steps to recruit a U.S. citizen for the position being offered to a foreigner.
Employers may apply for multiple candidates with one LCA, provided that those candidates are being hired for the same position.
How long does it take for an LCA to get approved?
It is estimated that it takes a week for LCA applications to be processed, but this can vary based on how busy the Department of Labor is at the time of filing.
When should you file an LCA?
LCAs must be filed within six months of the start date of the period of employment. In other words, your LCA must not be older than six months when your new hire begins work. The filing period for LCAs is in April, so employers should submit their applications before then.
What do you need to file an LCA?
Your LCA must include:
Both the prevailing wage (average wage given for the same position in the same area) and the actual wage (wage given to current employees who occupy a similar position) must be provided, and the foreign employee's wages must exceed these other wage estimates.
A testament that the foreign employee will not negatively impact the working conditions of current employees, and that the foreign employee will experience the same working conditions of U.S. employees in similar roles.
Assurance that no strikes, lockouts, or cessations of work are in place when the LCA is filed.
Proof that all employees have been made aware of the employer's intention to hire a foreign employee.
What is an LCA Posting?
Employers must post a notice in the workplace informing current employees of the vacant position being advertised. A copy of the LCA must also be displayed to let employees know that the position is being offered to a foreign candidate. The post must include:
- The completed LCA.
- The vacant position's title.
- The salary being offered.
- The location of the role.
Where can I post an LCA?
Two notices must be posted in communal spaces at the location where the role will be fulfilled. Notices must be posted 30 days before the LCA is submitted, and must remain visible for at least 10 days.
How to File an LCA:
Three steps to file an LCA with the Department of Labor.
Determine the prevailing wage.
Navigate to the Foreign Labor Application Gateway.
The Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) is a website hosted by the Department of Labor.
Click on "Create an Account."
The blue "Create an Account" button is located in the window with the heading: "Foreign Labor Application Gateway."
Enter your personal details.
Click on "Create an account" and enter your email address. You can then select your language preference and click on "Submit." An email will be sent to verify your account, after which you will be able to furnish more details, such as your company name and tax number.
Click on Form ETA-9141.
You will be redirected to your dashboard, where you will need to scroll down to the box with the heading "H-1B | H-1B1 | E-3." Click on the link for Form ETA-9141 (Prevailing Wage Determination).
Select the type of Visa you will be applying for.
You will need to select H-1B, H-1B1 Chile, H-1B1 Singapore, or E-3 Australian. Next, click on "Continue."
Fill in the required information.
You will need to fill in information on several pages. This information includes your personal information, your attorney's information, the job description, and minimum job requirements, among other details. Next, review and submit your application and await a response.
Post a notice about your LCA.
Post a notice of your LCA in your workplace.
Two notices must be posted in your workplace 30 days before you submit your LCA.
Your notices must include a copy of your LCA, the job title, the salary being offered, and the location of the job.
Submit your LCA.
Navigate to the FLAG website.
Go to the FLAG website. Log in to your account by clicking on "Sign In" in the top-right corner of the page.
Click on "Form ETA-9035/9035E."
Scroll down to the box with the heading: "H-1B | H-1B1 | E-3" and click on "Form ETA-9035/9035E."
Start a new case.
A pop-up will appear stating that you have no cases available to re-use. Click on the button that says "Start new" to create a new case.
Select the visa classification you are applying for.
You will be able to choose from H-1B, H-1B1 Chile, H-1B1 Singapore, or E-3 Australia. Make your selection and click on "Continue."
Complete the online form.
You will now be able to complete several online forms on the FLAG website. Fill in the required information, which includes details about the job, your personal information, wage information, and your attorney's details.
Review and submit your application, and await correspondence from the Department of Labor.
You may need to upload documents to confirm the candidate's educational qualifications. Based on information provided on the online portal, the website will make it clear which documents are required.
What happens after LCA approval?
After an LCA has been approved, the candidate, as well as an attorney or accredited representative, must register for the H-1B visa. They will do so on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Both Form I-129 and the approved LCA must be submitted.
It costs $10.00 per applicant to register for the H-1B visa.
How much does it cost to file an LCA?
It is free to file an LCA. It costs $10.00 per applicant when registering for the H-1B visa after the LCA has been certified.
Do LCAs get rejected?
Yes, LCAs can be rejected for a number of reasons. If your application is denied, the Department of Labor will make it clear why. A new LCA will have to be submitted.
How do I know if my LCA is approved?
You will receive correspondence from the Department of Labor if your application is approved. The candidate will also receive correspondence from the government so that they can attain the necessary documents.
Is a LCA filed before a H-1B?
H-1B is a classification of visa that is applied for with the LCA. The LCA encompasses H-1B, H-1B1 Chile, H-1B1 Singapore, and E-3 Australia.
How much does a labor certification cost?
It is free to submit an LCA. Employers only pay for each candidate when registering for the H-1B visa.
What is the difference between a LCA and a PERM?
A Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) application is submitted for a permanent foreign worker, while an LCA is submitted for a temporary foreign worker. This temporary period is usually three years.
What is the current PERM processing time?
The Department of Labor has noted that processing times vary by case, but the average processing time for the analyst review is 199 days, and the processing time for the audit review is 339 days.
How do I check my labor certification status?
Employers can use the search tool provided by the FLAG website.
Can you work from home on a H-1B visa?
Yes, you can work from home if you have an H-1B visa. You will need to inform the Department of Labor if you intend to work from home. A new LCA will need to be submitted with your home address listed as your work location.
Can a LCA be reused?
A new LCA must be filled in and submitted each time an application is denied, a work visa renewed, or a new foreign employee hired. However, one LCA can be used to apply for several employees who will be fulfilling the same role on the same start date.