Is iCert Really Better?

Although the LCA Legacy System remains operational until June 30, 2009, it’s being phased out – soon to be replaced by the iCert portal system. Is the Department of Labor really improving the employer-worker situation, or merely trading in one set of administrative issues and glitches for another?

Now that the old LCA system is to remain operational until the end of June, there is supposed to be enough time for a seamless transition. Immigration attorneys and other paralegals are being urged to get up to speed with the iCert system ASAP so that accounts can be set-up and any straggler LCAs can be filed using the nouveau form de jour ETA-9035. Technical issues are being fielded by an iCert “help desk” at It all sounds so wondrous, like the glitches have gone the way of the gander.

In fact, some earlier bugs have been remedied due to careful scrutiny by an array of attorneys and their minions. DOL had proclaimed as of 8th May that certified LCAs now have validity dates and signature, the tricky NAICS button is behaving by allowing for scroll down and perhaps the cows have come home. But all is far from well.

On the 13th of May, less than a week later, unspecified glitches delayed the mandatory use of iCert for LCA filings as the DOL was forced to renege on its earlier optimism. On the ides of April, the Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) had begun implementing iCert for LCA and PERM filings. The new system had required employers or attorneys to create a user account, from which a cascade of LCAs and PERM applications were supposed to emanate. Functionality for PERM was expected by 1st September 2009 while functionality for LCAs was considered imminent. It didn’t happen.

While the DOL’s iCert Visa Portal User Guide celebrates several decided improvements in system efficiency such as a single one-stop portal or “entry point,” a central repository for OFLC immigration related content, and a common search engine, implementation of iCert has been anything but a seamless transition. Excuses have already begun leaking out of DOL in reference to iCert. LCA processing “may take longer” than it does in the current electronic agency. A full seven-day period may even be reinstated by the agency, as employers are being urged to “take these longer processing times into account.”

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

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