H-1B filing deadline and delays with iCERT

The Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B visa filing deadlines are fast approaching and employers should plan accordingly.  USCIS will accept H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap only during the first five business days in April: Friday, April 1, 2016 through Thursday, April 7, 2016. Therefore, we urge employers to contact us as early as possible to review the requirements of the H-1B program, discuss the timing for drafting the FY2017 H-1B petitions, and to strategize about other possible options for employment-based visas for professionals and recent graduates. 
Part of the reason behind the urgency is the Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification ("OFLC") announcing on January 27, 2016 the agency was experiencing technical network problems supporting its iCERT visa portal system, resulting in delays in the processing of Labor Condition Applications with the Department of Labor ("DOL"). Before an employer can file an H-1B visa application with USCIS, the employer must first obtain a certified Labor Condition Application from DOL via its online iCERT system. While processing through iCERT typically takes 5 - 7 business days, the announcement from OFLC did not provide employers with a timeframe or expected delay time estimate as a result of the performance issue "significantly impacting" OFLC's ability to process applications.
Please contact us at info@iandoli.com or call us at 617-482-1010 with questions about H-1B visas and the application process.