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.