The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced a new initiative to make redacted copies of H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, H-2A, H-2B and permanent labor certification documents available to the general public, which should be of interest to all companies/employers who have sponsored employees for any of those temporary visa categories or for U.S. permanent resident ("green card") status. The new Labor Certification Registry online tool will be accessible via the iCERT Visa Portal System, and is part of the Department of Labor’s efforts to provide transparency to the labor certification decision process. These labor certification programs entail the review of employer-filed applications requesting the Secretary of Labor’s certification that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely impact the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers and, in the context of permanent labor certification (and certain nonimmigrant cases), that no U.S. workers are willing or available to fill a particular vacancy.
Previously, those seeking access to labor certification documents were required to file Freedom of Information Act requests. With the new system in place, the public will have access to the certification documents as well as the latest quarterly and annual case disclosure data. The documents will be redacted to provide transparency while simultaneously protecting personal information on privacy, security, and/or legal grounds. The documents will be searchable through a variety of data points, including ETA case number, visa classification, employer name, job title, industry, state or territory, zip code radius, and posting date range. Users may also conduct searches based on education and training, range of wage offers, worker positions requested, and dates of employments.
Access to the system will be available at http://icert.doleta.gov/ beginning July 1, 2013. For further information, see the Department of Labor’s Federal Register notice.