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February 2, 2016

USDOL Reports More H-2A Delays

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that employers who participate in H-1B, H-2A and H-2B temporary nonimmigrant visa programs should expect delays due to “technical network problems.”

The technical problems with the iCERT Visa Portal System (iCERT System) is resulting in delays in the processing of temporary nonimmigrant visa applications for employers. The OFLC said that “although the iCERT System’s application and database are working properly, the network infrastructure supporting the system is exhibiting performance issues that are significantly impacting our staff’s ability to process case actions for our employer customers. The Department’s technology staff is working diligently with the OFLC to improve system performance as soon as practically possible.”

Western Growers has recently met with the offices of Senators Feinstein and McCain and Congressmen Valadao and Farr—all who sit on the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate—in an effort to highlight this concern and seek assistance with Department of Labor in resolving this issue expeditiously. In addition, Western Growers continues to work with coalition partners such as the National Council of Agricultural Employers to resolve these concerns and is working toward generally making the broken H-2A program more workable. Western Growers staff is assessing the gravity of the current iCERT System situation and expected length of the delay and will report back with information as it becomes available.  Look for additional updates in Spotlight.

For more information, please contact Jason Resnick at (949) 885-2253.