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LCA Status for H-1B Explained

Updated on April 12, 2024

Navigating the U.S. work visa framework is complex, and understanding the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is essential. This mandatory document, required for employers hiring foreign nationals on H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas, is filed with the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure foreign workers receive fair wages and that their employment does not negatively affect U.S. workers. Once approved, the LCA is crucial for the H-1B petition filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), detailing employment terms such as location, salary, and duration. It’s vital to monitor the status of your LCA because it affects both the timeline and outcome of the H-1B visa petition. With online platforms from the Department of Labor and resources for status updates, checking your LCA status is straightforward, ensuring you stay well-informed throughout the H-1B visa application process. This blog will explore how to effectively manage these checks and fully understand each step of your application.

30 Second Recap:

Navigating the Labor Condition Application (LCA) process is essential for employers hiring foreign workers under various visa categories like H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3. Understanding the purpose, role of the Department of Labor (DOL), and the LCA’s significance in the visa application process is crucial. The LCA ensures fair labor practices, safeguards both U.S. and foreign workers, and sets forth employer obligations. Key steps include filing through the FLAG system or iCERT portal, monitoring the LCA status, and complying with attestations when filing Form I-129. Frequently asked questions provide clarity on checking LCA status, understanding certification, processing times, and the LCA’s role in employment-based visa applications. Stay informed and ensure compliance to navigate the LCA process effectively and facilitate successful visa applications for foreign workers.

 

Tracking Your H-1B LCA Status – A Step-by-Step Guide

The Labor Condition Application (LCA) is a crucial step in the H-1B visa process for you. It’s a document that your employer must obtain from the U.S. Department of Labor before they can hire you on an H-1B visa. The LCA ensures that your employer is paying you a fair wage and providing appropriate working conditions. If you’re an H-1B applicant, it’s essential to track the status of your LCA to ensure a smooth visa process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can check the LCA status for your H-1B case:

Step 1: Visit the iCERT Visa Portal System

You need to visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s iCERT Visa Portal System, where you can check the status of your LCA. Navigate to https://icert.doleta.gov/ and click on “Case Status” on the left-hand side menu.

Step 2: Enter Your Case Information

On the Case Status page, you’ll need to enter your case details. This includes the Case Number, Case Type (H-1B, H-1B1, E-3), and the Year in which the case was filed. You’ll also need to enter a security code to proceed.

Need help with your H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa process is complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re struggling to understand all of the moving parts, let Stilt help. Our team of H-1B visa experts can help you make sense of all the eligibility requirements, documents, and the application process.

Step 3: Review the Case Status

After entering the required information, the system will display the current status of your LCA case. The status can be one of the following:

  • Submitted: Your LCA has been submitted to the Department of Labor but has not been processed yet.
  • Certified: Your LCA has been approved, and you’re ready for the next step in the H-1B process.
  • Denied: Your LCA has been denied, and you’ll need to review the reasons for denial and potentially resubmit if necessary.
  • Withdrawn: Your LCA has been withdrawn by your employer.

Step 4: Monitor for Updates

It’s essential for you to keep checking the LCA status regularly, as the process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the workload at the Department of Labor. You can either check manually or sign up for email notifications to receive updates on your case status.

Step 5: Next Steps

If your LCA is certified, you can proceed with the next steps in the H-1B visa process, such as filing the I-129 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your LCA is denied, you’ll need to review the reasons for denial and potentially resubmit a new LCA.

Tracking your LCA status is crucial for you to ensure a smooth H-1B visa process. By following these steps, you can stay informed about the progress of your LCA and take the necessary actions to move forward with your H-1B case.

Can LCA Numbers Reveal H-1B Petition Status?

When an employer files for an H-1B petition, one of the first steps is obtaining an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor. This LCA has an associated case number. Some H-1B applicants have wondered if this LCA number can then be used to track the overall status of their H-1B petition case with USCIS.

According to the discussion thread, using just the LCA number does not provide visibility into H-1B petition status details like receipt numbers or approval decisions. As one commenter pointed out:

“No. There is no way to get H-1B status online easily using just the LCA number. Maybe an FOIA request to USCIS providing the LCA details could uncover it, but it’s a stretch.”

Several applicants shared situations where they could see the LCA was approved on the Department of Labor’s iCERT system, but had no further insight from their employer on whether the petition had been filed with USCIS yet, let alone gotten a receipt number or decision.

“I have applied for H-1B and when I searched on iCERT with the LCA it said ‘Certified’ but till now I have no idea what the status is or if a receipt has been generated.”

The consensus was that rather than trying to decode status through the LCA number, the best approach is simply to ask the petitioning employer directly for an update and any receipt data from USCIS.

As one person advised: “Why don’t you ask the employer?” And another warned that “some employers want to control their H-1B petitions in every possible way, including not letting the beneficiary know any details like receipt numbers.”

So in summary – while the LCA number confirms a valid application exists, it does not actually provide a window into the status of the subsequent H-1B petition filed with USCIS. Maintaining clear communication with the sponsoring employer is crucial for H-1B applicants to stay updated on their case’s progress.

Need help with your H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa process is complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re struggling to understand all of the moving parts, let Stilt help. Our team of H-1B visa experts can help you make sense of all the eligibility requirements, documents, and the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find specific answers to common inquiries about Labor Condition Application (LCA) status. This will include how to check an LCA status, understanding LCA certification, and the significance of an LCA in the employment-based visa process.

How can I check the status of an LCA without a case number?

If you do not have an LCA case number, it’s challenging to verify the status directly. However, you may contact the employer or the legal representative who filed the LCA for this information.

What are the steps to verify if a company has filed an LCA?

You can verify if a company has filed an LCA by accessing the Department of Labor’s iCERT Visa Portal System. Searching by the employer’s name within the system will yield results including LCAs filed by the company.

What does it mean when an LCA status is ‘certified’?

When an LCA status is ‘certified’, it means the Department of Labor has approved the application, confirming that the employer meets all the employment conditions required to hire a foreign worker under an H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa.

How long typically does the LCA approval process take?

LCA approval typically takes around 7 business days. The exact time might vary based on the volume of applications and other factors at the Department of Labor.

Can you explain the significance of an LCA or ETA case number?

The LCA or ETA case number is a unique identifier assigned to an LCA upon submission. It’s used to track the application during the review process and essential for any future references or amendments.

Is an LCA necessary for the green card application process?

An LCA is not directly required for a green card application, which calls for a different process involving a Permanent Labor Certification (PERM). However, an LCA is crucial for initially obtaining H-1B status, which can be a step toward permanent residency.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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