The USCIS Ombudsman was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Ombudsman’s role is to provide recommendations to the USCIS for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. The Ombudsman’s latest recommendation focuses on addressing the recent issues employers are having with the new icert LCA portal. In order to deal with the technical issues (e.g. incorrectly denied LCAs for failure to verify the FEIN number of the employer) and hence delay in filings, which have caused significantly disruption to many’s business operations, the Ombudsman is recommending the following to the USCIS:

(1) Reinstate USCIS’ previous practice of temporarily accepting an H-1B petition (Form I-129) supported by proof of timely filing of an LCA application with DOL, and issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) whereby the H-1B petitioner later provides the certified LCA; and

(2) Establish a temporary policy under which USCIS would excuse late H-1B filings where the petitioner has documented an LCA submission to DOL that was improperly rejected.

We will keep you posted if the USCIS agrees to these recommendations. Doing so would significantly help employers in their H1b filings until, that is, all of the kinks are worked out of the icert LCA system.