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
Meeting Password: Welcome!68
Conference Number: 1-800-369-3357
Participant Passcode: 4532103
Please note: Webinar is limited to 1,000 participants.