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An Easy Guide for Filing H1B Labor Condition Application (LCA)
April 22, 2022
5 mins
A female HR professional in a white shirt offering an employment agreement for reading labor terms and work conditions. A coffee cup, spec notepad, and mobile phone are placed on the table.

In this blog, we have discussed the following topics under H1B LCA:

  • Purpose of an LCA
  • What an LCA contains
  • How to apply for LCA

Before heading into the details of the purpose of LCA and steps to apply, it is important to understand what is LCA and the fees for it.

Labor Condition Application: An Overview

Every year, millions of foreigners get busy applying for their H1B visas- the golden ticket to work, live and eventually settle in the USA. The H1B visa application is an intricate and demanding process, starting with the H1B applicant looking for US-based employers ready to sponsor their H1B visas.

According to the regulations given by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your H1B employer should file the H1B petition on your behalf. They must submit your H1B petition along with the LCA or Labor Condition Application- a crucial document that's mandatory for filing an H1B petition.

What is the LCA H1? Also known as Form ETA 9035E, the LCA is filed when an H1B-sponsoring employer hires a foreign candidate for specialty occupations. The H1B LCA is a prerequisite for filing H1B visa petitions with the USCIS. The employer's responsibility is to provide accurate requirements to successfully file an H1B visa on behalf of the non-immigrant candidate.

What is the Purpose of an LCA?

Essentially, the LCA is the first step in the long journey of obtaining an H1B visa. The application contains all the crucial details about the job, the proposed salary, working conditions, etc. It also serves as proof that the H1B employer has taken adequate steps to induct an American citizen for the job offered to a foreign candidate. Employers can use one LCA to apply for multiple employees hired for the same position. Employers must file the LCA up to six months before the commencement of the employment period.

The LCA is so important because it contains all the details about the H1B workers and the job offered to them. Let's go further into these details.

Key Information in an LCA: What it Contains

A properly-filled Labor Condition Application will contain the following information:

  • Title of the job position offered
  • SOC Code or Standard Occupation Classification Code
  • Duration of the job (which is three years)
  • Whether it is a full-time or part-time job
  • Place of Employment or location of the job
  • Whether the employer is H1B dependent or not
  • Prevailing salary for the same job position in that area
  • Total number of job positions the LCA is applied for
  • Salary offered or rate of pay for the job position
  • Whether the LCA is for a new or continuing employment
  • Employer or attorney's contact details
  • Public disclosure

Although your H1B employer is responsible for filing the LCA, knowing how the process is done and the details involved is important. Here's a four-step guide to applying for an H1B LCA.

Also Read: All You Need to Know About Prevailing Wages and Wage Level H1B for LCA

4 Step-Guide to Apply for an H1B LCA

Step 1: Obtaining prevailing wage rates

To obtain the prevailing wage rates, your employer must:

  • Login and create an account in the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG), a website hosted by the Department of Labor (DoL).
  • Enter your details. (An email will be sent to verify your account. Your employer will be able to furnish more details, such as the company name and tax number.)
  • Click on the link for Form ETA-9141 (prevailing wage determination).
  • Select the visa type and click on "Continue".
  • Fill in the required information.
  • Enter the employer's details.
  • Review and submit the application.

Step 2: Posting a notice about the LCA

The employer must post two notices at the workplace at least 30 days before submitting the LCA. The notices must have the following details:

  • Copy of the LCA
  • Job title
  • Remuneration
  • Location of the job
  • Date of employment

Step 3: Filing the LCA with the DoL

Once the LCA is filed, your employer the following applications via the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system.

  • LCA ETA 9035 (Physical application)
  • ETA 9035E ( Electronic application)

To file an LCA using FLAG, your employer must:

  • Sign in to the FLAG website.
  • Click on "Form ETA-9035/9035E."
  • Start a new case. ( A pop-up will appear stating that there are no cases available to re-use).
  • Click on the "Start new" button to create a new case.
  • Select the visa classification and choose from H-1B, E-3 Australia, H-1B1 Chile, and H-1B1 Singapore.
  • Select the appropriate classification and click on "Continue."
  • Complete the online form by filling in the required information.
  • Review and submit the application.
  • Await further correspondence from the Department of Labor.

Step 4: H1B LCA Processing time & What happens further

Your employer can check the status by logging into FLAG online account. Generally, the DoL will process the LCA and approve it within a week. Sometimes, the DoL may resend the LCA stating clerical mistakes or missing information.

LCA Filing Status:

Once the LCA is processed and adjudicated, it will reflect one of the following statuses:

Certified: The LCA is certified by DOL and can be used to file an H1B petition with USCIS.
Certified- Withdrawn: The LCA was certified by DOL, but the employer chose not to use it to file an H1B petition. Hence the LCA was withdrawn. It cannot be used for filing an H1B petition anymore.
Withdrawn: The employer withdrew the LCA application before DOL made the decision.
Denied: DOL has adjudicated and denied the H1B LCA as it did not meet their requirements. A denied LCA cannot be used for filing an H1B petition.

If the application is approved, your employer will receive correspondence from the Department of Labor. In addition, the government will contact you, the H1B candidate, to assist you with obtaining the necessary documents. Now, the employer must register for the H1B with the USCIS, along with an attorney or accredited representative. Your employer must submit both Form I-129 and the approved LCA during that time.

Conclusion

Your LCA process must be flawless because it is the first crucial step to initiating the bigger H1B process. LCAs that lack the prerequisites will undergo several rejection cycles, leading to an immense waste of time. It is your employer's responsibility to ensure that the LCA is perfect and fulfills all the required information given by the DoL.

For any information regarding LCA--what it is, the application process and other details regarding prevailing wages, visit TechFetch H1B. We are your one-stop site for any information you need about the H1B Visa process as a whole.

**Disclaimer: All H1B processes are subject to change. Hence, kindly refer to the USCIS official website for the latest updates.

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