H1B Visa Lawyer – USCIS to accept H1B applications without LCA’s

In response to the major delays with Labor Condition Applications (LCA’s), the USCIS announced a temporary policy and procedural change regarding H1B petition filings. Effective November 5, 2009, H1B cases can be filed prior to the certification of the required Labor Condition Application (LCA). This change was necessitated by delays in LCA processing through the Department of Labor (DOL).

Here is how the new process will work. USCIS will begin to accept H-1B petitions filed with uncertified LCAs for a 120-day period, commencing November 5, 2009 and through March 4, 2010. However, USCIS will only accept such H-1B petitions if they are filed at least 7 calendar days after the LCAs were filed with DOL and include evidence of these filings. The only acceptable evidence of filing is a copy of DOL’s email giving notice of receipt of the LCA.

Petitioners who seek to take advantage of this temporary flexibility in the normal filing procedures for H-1B petitions must wait until they receive a request for evidence (RFE) before they submit the DOL-certified LCA to USCIS in support of the H-1B petition. USCIS will give petitioners a period of 30 calendar days within which they must send in a DOL certified LCA in response to the RFE. We welcome this new procedure and hope that it will expedite current H1B processing.

Read the USCIS memo here