The H-1B visa can be a difficult visa to obtain if you don’t have enough knowledge about it. One of the most important things you need to know is the H-1B Labor Condition Application (LCA). Without it, you won’t have any chance to acquire this visa. So, here, we are going to explain several important matters about LCA and how it is related to the H-1B visa.
What is an LCA? What is LCA for H1B Visa?
LCA is a form that your employer uses and submit to the Department of Labor to hire an H-1B employee. The H-1B employee is the worker that will get an H-1B visa for working in the U.S. LCA is an important part of acquiring the H-1B visa. Without this form, the employer won’t be able to submit the I-129 petition that is needed to get the H-1B visa.
What Does the LCA Contain?
LCA contains information related to H-1B employment, such as:
- • List of occupational classification of the employee that wanted to hire,
- • The number of worker (non-immigrant) that will be included in this employment,
- • The wage rate for the H-1B employee,
- • The standard wage for the area where the H-1B employee will work,
- • The location where the H-1B employee will work,
- •The dates of employment.
Furthermore, the applicant for LCA also needs to state that the employment of an H-1B employee is necessary. This part also has to be explained in detail.
The LCA Application Process
The LCA application process is not that difficult. First of all, the employee needs to submit ETA 9035 to the Department of Labor. This process needs to be done before the period of the H-1B filing. You can do this at the same time with the H-1B filing period, though. However, if you do that, mostly, it can cause a problem. These two documents can overlap each other and it makes everything difficult and complicated to finish. In the end, the employer can miss the period where they allow filing this form.
Labor condition applications are filed online using the FLAG system instead of iCERT system at https://flag.dol.gov/. However, the employer also can file it directly to the Department of Labor, if there is no internet or having a problem doing it electronically. To do this, the employer needs to ask for permission from the Administration of OFLC.
Next thing, the employer just needs to wait until the reviewing process is finished. Once it is received and approved, the H-1B visa can be acquired. Another important thing to know, an employer can file one LCA for multiple H-1B employees. However, these employees have to work in the same position.
What is the Difference between a Labor Condition Application and a PERM Labor Certification?
As you might already know, an employer also can ask for PERM Labor certification for their employee. So, what is the difference with LCA? The answer is the status of the worker/employee. PERM Labor Certification is related to Green Card. It means the employee status that uses this form is a permanent resident of the U.S.
On the other hand, LCA is a form for non-immigrant employees. Therefore, the status of the employee is non-permanent. LCA is mostly used for hiring professional workers from other countries.
How Much Does an LCA Cost?
Fortunately, filing LCA doesn’t cost anything. It’s free. You need to get the online form and file it to the Department of Labor, and that’s it.
How Long is the LCA Processing Time?
The reviewing time takes seven (7) working days. After that, you receive the visa after it is approved. That’s all that you need about LCA and the H-1B visa.
Prevailing wage in LCA
One of the most important aspects of an LCA is the prevailing wage for the position being offered. It is important to have the right wage level selected to avoid issues in the future. USCIS has been very particular about this and denied many petitions for not selecting the right wage as many selected ‘Level 1 wage’.