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Announcements

Last updated October 4th, 2019

October 4th, 2019

OFLC Announces Customer Enhancements to the FLAG System for H-2A and LCA Programs

On October 1st, 2019, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), in collaboration with the Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer, released the following enhancements and new features in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System for preparing and submitting applications in the H-2A and LCA (H-1B, H-1B1, E-3) programs:

✓ Customers will be able to take certain actions on H-2A applications while under review by OFLC

  • Form ETA-790/790A (H-2A Agricultural Clearance Order)
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “In Process” status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “NOD Issued” status
    • Withdraw an application in the “Denied” status
    • Withdraw an application in the “Approved” status
  • Form ETA-9142A (H-2A Application for Temporary Employment Certification)
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “In Process” status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “NOD Issued” status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “Accepted – Pending Recruitment” status
    • Upload a recruitment report document where the pending application is in the “Accepted - Pending Recruitment” status
    • Upload a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) response document where the pending application in the “NOD Issued” status
    • Upload a Notice of Required Modification (NRM) response document where the pending application in the “NRM Issued” status

✓ Customers will be able to use a wage calculator tool to assist in auto-calculating prevailing wages based on the Occupational Employment Statistics Wage Survey Program during the preparation of the Form ETA-9035 for LCA programs.

 

September 5th, 2019

OFLC Announces Schedule for Electronic Filing of Labor Condition Applications in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System

As part of the Department’s technology modernization initiative, the FLAG System is being developed to replace the legacy iCERT System, improve customer service, and modernize the administration of foreign labor certification programs through the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC). Technology is a key enabler for OFLC to deliver the highest quality customer service, and implementing the FLAG System will ensure our technology capabilities are modern, secure, and resilient.

OFLC is making this public service announcement to alert employers and other interested stakeholders about implementation of its new FLAG System for the Labor Condition Application (LCA) programs covering the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa classifications.

Electronic Filing of Form ETA-9035E, Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers

  • Beginning September 16, 2019, the FLAG System's LCA Program Module will be enabled and stakeholders will be able to begin preparing H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 applications using the Form ETA-9035E. However, the FLAG System will not permit the submission of LCA applications until 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 1, 2019.
  • OFLC will continue to accept online submissions of the Form ETA-9035E through the iCERT System until 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time on October 1, 2019. The ability to submit LCA applications using the iCERT System will be deactivated at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on that date.
  • OFLC will process all LCA applications submitted through the iCERT System, and stakeholders will be able to access their iCERT System accounts to check the status of applications submitted through the iCERT System.

Technical Assistance Materials & Instructional Webinar

OFLC has created instructional videos to help educate the stakeholder community on how to create and manage a FLAG System account and prepare the Form ETA-9035E. To obtain more information and view these instructional videos, please visit the LCA Program page on the FLAG System. The new videos will be posted no later than Friday, September 13, 2019.

Additionally, OFLC will host an instructional webinar on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, to provide technical assistance to employers and authorized attorneys or agents on how to prepare the Form ETA-9035E using the new FLAG System.

Details of the webinars are as follows:

DATE: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2547a36864b207335bad0d74f0abf45a
Meeting Password: Welcome!24
Conference Number: 888-469-1548
Participant Passcode: 2477817

Please note: Webinar is limited to 1,000 participants.

 

August 27th, 2019

August 27, 2019. OFLC Announces OMB Approval of New H-2A Application Forms and Schedule for Electronic Filing in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced changes to the forms and the online filing process for the H-2A temporary agricultural program.

On August 22, 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved revisions for form ETA-9142A, Application for Temporary Employment Certification, and Appendix A, H-2A Assurances and Obligations. This approved package includes a newly designed form ETA-790/790A, H-2A Agricultural Clearance Order, to collect information about the employer’s agricultural job opportunity in an electronically fillable and fileable format, reducing the need for employers to submit “paper-based’ job orders to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs).

OMB also approved form ETA-9142A, Final Determination: H-2A Temporary Labor Certification Approval ETA-9142A, which allows OFLC to issue H-2A temporary labor certification approvals electronically.

The following schedule outlines when the new and updated forms will be used, as well as the migration from the iCERT to FLAG System.

Electronic Filing Schedule for New H-2A Application Forms

Beginning September 4, 2019 (at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time):

  • The FLAG System's H-2A Program Module will be enabled and stakeholders will be able to begin preparing job orders using the Form ETA-790/790A and applications using the Form ETA-9142A. However, the FLAG System will not permit the submission of H-2A job orders and applications until October 1, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • OFLC will continue to accept online submissions of the current Form ETA-9142A (and job orders uploaded using the current Form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order) through the iCERT System until October 16, 2019, at 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time. The ability to submit H-2A applications using the iCERT System will be deactivated on October 16, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • OFLC will continue to process all H-2A applications and job orders submitted through the iCERT System, and stakeholders will be able to access their iCERT System accounts to check the status of applications submitted through the iCERT System.

Transition Schedule for Submitting H-2A Applications in the iCERT and FLAG Systems

Beginning on October 1, 2019 (at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time):

  • An employer seeking to file an emergency application, as set forth under 20 CFR 655.134, OR to employ H-2A workers to perform herding or production of livestock on the range, as defined in 20 CFR 655.201, must submit a job order using the new form ETA-790/790A (and corresponding addendums) and an H-2A application using the new form ETA-9142A (and corresponding appendices) in the FLAG System.
  • An employer seeking to employ H-2A workers with an expected start date of need on and after December 15, 2019, must submit a job order to the SWA using the new form ETA-790/790A (and corresponding addendums) and an H-2A application using the new form ETA-9142A (and corresponding appendices) in the FLAG System.
  • An employer who initiated the H-2A application process before October 1, 2019, and has a pending job order with the SWA using the current form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order, containing an expected start date of need on or before December 14, 2019, must file an H-2A application with the using the current form ETA-9142A in the iCERT System.

Beginning on October 16, 2019 (at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time):

  • OFLC will return – without further review – H-2A applications and job orders submitted in the iCERT System using the current versions of the form ETA-9142A and form ETA-790.
  • OFLC will continue to accept H-2A applications and job order in the iCERT system using the current forms through October 16, 2019, at 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time for an employer seeking to employ H-2A workers with an expected start date of before December 15, 2019.

Technical Assistance Materials and Instructional Webinar

OFLC has created instructional videos to help educate the stakeholder community on how to create and manage a FLAG System account and prepare the new H-2A application forms. To obtain more information and view these instructional videos, please visit the H-2A Program page on the FLAG System. The new videos will be posted on September 6, 2019.

Additionally, OFLC will host an instructional webinar on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, to provide technical assistance to employers and authorized attorneys or agents on how to prepare the new H-2A application forms using the new FLAG System. Details of the webinars are as follows:

DATE: Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e360438a293718c2149ac2c825b87ce50
Meeting Password: Welcome!68
Conference Number: 1-800-369-3357
Participant Passcode: 4532103

Please note: Webinar is limited to 1,000 participants.

 

July 14th, 2019

OFLC Announces Enhancements to the FLAG System for CW-1 and H-2B Programs

On July 14th, 2019, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), in collaboration with the Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer, released the following enhancements and new features in the FLAG System for stakeholders preparing and submitting applications in the CW-1 and H-2B Programs:

✓ Users will be able to take certain actions on CW-1 and H-2B applications while under review by OFLC

  • Form ETA-9142B (H-2B Application)
    • Upload recruitment report documentation where the pending application is in the “Accepted – Pending Recruitment” status
  • Form ETA-9142C (CW-1 Application)
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “In Process” status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “NOD Issued” status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the “Accepted - Pending Recruitment” status
    • Upload additional or “ad hoc” documents where the pending application is in the “In Process” status
    • Upload additional or “ad hoc” documents where the pending application is in the “NOD Issued” status
    • Upload additional or “ad hoc” documents where the pending application is in the “Accepted - Pending Recruitment” status
    • Upload additional or “ad hoc” documents where the pending application is in the “Partial Certification” status
    • Upload recruitment report documentation where the pending application is in the “Accepted – Pending Recruitment” status
 

July 3, 2019

OFLC Announces Successful Launch of H-2B Electronic Filing in its New FLAG System for Employers Seeking H-2B Workers Starting Fiscal Year 2020.

The Department of Labor's (Department) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is making this public service announcement to alert employers and other interested stakeholders about implementation of its new Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System for the H-2B program.

On July 3, 2019, OFLC, in collaboration with the Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer, successfully launched a new H-2B Electronic Filing Module within the FLAG System to support employers seeking temporary labor certification to employ H-2B workers starting on or after October 1, 2019. As of 3:00 P.M. Eastern Time today, OFLC has received approximately 326 H-2B applications covering more than 7,942 worker positions with no service interruptions. Additionally, the Department deactivated the ability to file H-2B applications in the legacy iCERT system as of midnight today.

The Department recognizes that technology is a key enabler for OFLC to deliver the highest quality customer service, and implementing the FLAG System will ensure our technology capabilities are modern, secure, and resilient. Following the temporary service interruptions of January 1, 2019, the FLAG System modernization effort for the H-2B program was initiated in late March 2019 with the goal to replace the legacy iCERT H-2B module and provide improved and streamlined external customer experience starting with the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 visa allotment season. The Department is pleased to announce that it met this goal by developing and deploying this new modernized solution using cloud-based technology.

To support implementation of the FLAG System's H-2B Electronic Filing Module, OFLC delivered a series of public webinars and provided instructional videos in June 2019 to educate stakeholders on how to obtain and manage user accounts and prepare for submission of new H-2B applications forms beginning July 3, 2019. Finally, for stakeholders who may experience any technical issues, the FLAG System offers a new automated "ticketing system" so customers can more efficiently request assistance and receive a unique service ticket number to effectively track resolution of their request.

On July 8, 2019, the Department will randomly select for assignment and processing all cases received between July 3rd and July 5th for October 1, 2019, employment start dates for the first half of the FY 2020 H-2B statutory cap, fully implementing the Department's process change announcement of February 26, 2019, and efforts to provide a more equitable application process.

 

June 28, 2019

OFLC Announces Enhancements to the FLAG System for Prevailing Wage and H-2B Programs

On June 28th, 2019, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), in collaboration with the Department's Office of the Chief Information Officer, released the following enhancements and new features in the FLAG System for stakeholders preparing and submitting applications in the Prevailing Wage and H-2B Programs:

✓ The Form ETA-9142B Appendix B form has been updated with the latest expiration date

✓ Users will be able to pre-populate applications using Profiles created in the FLAG Account

  • Form ETA-9141 (Prevailing Wage Application)
    • Pre-populate Section B, Requestor Point-of-Contact Information, using either an “Employer POC” or “Agent/Attorney Individual” profile
    • Pre-populate Section C, Employer Information, using an "Employer" Profile
  • Form ETA-9142B (H-2B Application)
    • Pre-populate Section D, Employer Point-of-Contact Information, using an "Employer POC" profile
    • Pre-populate Section E, Attorney or Agent Information, using an "Agent/Attorney Individual" profile
    • Pre-populate Appendix C, Foreign Labor Recruitment Information, using a "Foreign Labor Recruiter" profile

✓ Users will be able to take certain actions on Prevailing Wage and H-2B applications while under review by OFLC

  • Form ETA-9141 (Prevailing Wage Application)
    • Withdraw a pending application in the "In Process" status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the "RFI Issued" status
  • Form ETA-9142B (H-2B Application)
    • Withdraw a pending application in the "In Process" status
    • Withdraw a pending application in the "NOD Issued" status
    • Upload additional or "ad hoc" documents where the pending application is in the "In Process" status
    • Upload documents in response to a Notice of Deficiency (NOD) where the pending application is in the "NOD Issued" status
  • Form ETA-9142C (CW-1 Application)
    • Upload documents in response to a NOD where the pending application is in the "NOD Issued" status

✓ Users will be able to view a case details page on applications submitted for processing as well as applications issued final decisions (i.e., located in the Historical tab of the FLAG Account) for the CW-1 (Form ETA-9142C), Prevailing Wage (Form ETA-9141), and H-2B (Form ETA-9142B) programs

 

JUNE 14, 2019

OFLC Announces Webinar on June 21, 2019, to Demonstrate the Foreign Labor Application Gateway System

As part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s compliance assistance and technology modernization initiatives, the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System will replace the iCERT System in order to improve customer service and modernize the foreign labor certification process. With regards to the H-2B program, this enhanced platform will be effective on July 3, 2019.

The Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification invites stakeholders to participate in a webinar demonstrating the FLAG System and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions through an online chat room. Information regarding the FLAG System demonstration is as follows:

 

DATE: Friday, June 21, 2019, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
LINK

https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1945aff71eb8dcc31c42eb16f481729f

Meeting password: Welcome!68

Call-in information:
Conference Number: 1-800-369-1976
Participant Passcode: 2810956

Please note: Webinars are limited to 1,000 participants

 

JUNE 6, 2019

OFLC Announces New H-2B Application Forms For Use Beginning July 3, 2019, and Schedule for Electronic Filing in the FLAG System

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has received OMB approval for revisions to the H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification (Form ETA-9142B) and corresponding appendices, and related forms and instructions. These revisions will better align information collection requirements with the Department’s regulations, provide greater clarity to employers on regulatory requirements, standardize and streamline information collection to reduce employer time and burden preparing applications, and promote greater efficiency and transparency in OFLC’s review and issuance of labor certification decisions under the H-2B program. This new form must be used for all new H-2B applications beginning July 3, 2019. To obtain a copy of the new H-2B application form and its instructions, please click here.

Transition Schedule for Submitting the New H-2B Application Forms

  • Beginning July 3, 2019, OFLC will only accept H-2B applications submitted using the new Form ETA-9142B (i.e., forms containing an expiration date of May 31, 2022).
  • Beginning July 3, 2019, OFLC will reject – without further review – H-2B applications submitted using the current version of Form ETA-9142B (i.e., forms containing an expiration date of May 31, 2019). OFLC will continue to accept H-2B applications using this form through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 2, 2019.

Electronic Filing of the New H-2B Application Forms in the FLAG System

  • Beginning June 13, 2019, the FLAG System’s H-2B Program Module will be enabled and stakeholders will be able to begin preparing H-2B applications using the new Form ETA-9142B and corresponding appendices. However, the FLAG System will not permit the submission of H-2B applications using the new forms until July 3, 2019.
  • OFLC will continue to accept online submissions of the current Form ETA-9142B through the iCERT System until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 2, 2019. The ability to submit H-2B applications using the iCERT System will be deactivated at this time.
  • OFLC will process H-2B applications submitted through the iCERT System prior to July 3, 2019. Stakeholders will be able to access their iCERT System accounts to check the status of applications made through the iCERT System.
  • Beginning July 3, 2019, all H-2B applications will be assigned for review in accordance with the procedures announced by the Department on February 26, 2019.

Technical Assistance Materials & Webinars

OFLC has created instructional videos to help educate the stakeholder community on how to create and manage a FLAG System account and prepare the Form ETA-9142B and corresponding appendices. To obtain more information and view these instructional videos, please visit the H-2B Program page on the FLAG System at https://flag.dol.gov. The new videos will be posted on June 7, 2019.

Additionally, OFLC will host webinars on June 13, 2019, to provide technical assistance to employers and authorized attorneys or agents on the changes to the H-2B application forms.

Details of the webinars are as follows:

DATE: June 13, 2019
TIME: 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time and 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
WEBINAR LINKS:

10:00 a.m. Eastern Time:
https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e485b340b4f791da058493683c7b26216

2:00 p.m. Eastern Time:
https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e20df031b64d7816654e330548ae487a9

Meeting password: Welcome!24

Both meetings will use this call-in information:

Conference Number: 1-888-790-3323
Participant Passcode: 8418168

Please note: Each of the webinars is limited to 1,000 participants.

 

 

JUNE 4, 2019

OFLC Announces Schedule for Electronic Filing of Prevailing Wage Requests in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System

As part of the Department's technology modernization initiative, the FLAG System is being developed to improve customer service and modernize the administration of foreign labor certification programs through the Employment and Training Administration's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC). Technology is a key enabler for OFLC to deliver the highest quality customer service, and implementing the FLAG System will ensure our technology capabilities are modern, secure and resilient


FLAG System Implementation: Form ETA-9141

  • Beginning Monday, June 10, 2019, OFLC will accept online submissions of the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (Form ETA-9141) in the FLAG System covering all visa programs.
  • Beginning June 10, 2019, the capability to submit the Form ETA-9141 using the iCERT System will be deactivated. OFLC will continue to accept online submissions of the Form ETA-9141 through the iCERT System until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: OFLC’s National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) will process all Form ETA-9141s submitted through the iCERT System before 12:00 a.m. (Eastern Time), Monday, June 10, and stakeholders will still be able to access their iCERT System accounts to check the status of their applications and obtain prevailing wage determinations.

Technical Assistance Materials

OFLC has developed a series of instructional videos and content to help educate the stakeholder community on how to create and manage a FLAG System account and prepare the Form ETA-9141 for submission to the NPWC. To obtain more information and view these instructional videos, please visit the Prevailing Wage Program page on the FLAG System at http://flag.dol.gov/. New videos will be posted on June 7, 2019.