Search Site
Menu
225 Broadway, 3rd Floor | New York, New York 10007 | To view all locations click here
CALL TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION 212-203-4795800-223-2814
H-2B Visas: New Selection Procedure After iCert Server Crash

The H-2B visa program allows United States employers to hire foreign workers for nonagricultural services on a temporary basis.

The H-2B visa program is an important resource for both employers as well as foreign workers. In order to qualify for it, the petitioning employer must show that:

  1. There aren’t enough U.S. workers who are able or qualified to perform the temporary work.
  2. Hiring the H-2B worker will not negatively affect American worker wages.
  3. The work position is not permanent, but instead seasonal or temporary.

It is limited to 66,000 positions a year, with 33,000 assigned to each half of the year. H-2B applications are date-and-time stamped and processed in order of submission, due to the high demand. Due to its popularity, the program always receives a high volume of applicants. Employers file electronically with the Department of Labor through its iCert system.

 

The iCert Server Crash

The quota for visa applications requesting a start date of April 1, 2019 opened on January 1, 2019.  Within the first five minutes of opening the filing window, the iCERT server crashed due to an unprecedented volume of applications.  Based on DOL’s statistics, during that time employers attempted to file applications for 97,800 workers, far exceeding the 33,000 available visas.  The server remained off-line until January 7, 2019.

In an attempt to address the situation, DOL increased the system’s capacity to 50 servers and added a “CAPTCHA” feature to prevent applications by automated computer algorithms. They are continually testing and running performance-tuning on the system to ensure that it can handle a large volume of activity. They have also instituted backup solutions in the case of another server issue.  As a result, most employers were able to submit their H-2B applications on January 7, 2019.

 

New “Random Lottery” Procedure Begins in July 2019

The technical difficulties surrounding the H-2B submission process and the concerns raised by employers and their attorneys, compelled DOL to reconsider its filing procedures.  Beginning in July, 2019, in an effort to prevent another spike of login activity, DOL will implement a new selection procedure.  Rather than processing cases in order they were received, DOL will conduct a random lottery of applications filed within the first three business days of the cap period.

H-2B visas are given for one year. They can be extended in one-year increments, but the maximum possible stay is for three years. The H-2B visa process is complex and time-consuming. Contact the employment immigration lawyers at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, to receive help with the H-2B visa process. Call us today at 212-203-4795.

 

Recent Settlements
  • $1,500,000.00

    Rear-end Car Accident Results in Herniated Disc (New York County)

  • $831,803.85

    Rear-end Car Accident (Bronx County)

  • $3,889,000.00

    MTA Bus Accident Results in Leg Fracture (Queens County)

  • $1,075,000.00

    Construction Worker Scaffold Fall (Westchester County)

  • $1,697,500.00

    Single Car Accident Due to Open Manhole (Queens County)

  • $1,950,000.00

    Trip & Fall Accident Due to City Negligence (Bronx County)

  • $1,800,000.00

    Pedestrian Struck by Forklift (Kings County)

  • Over $100 Million Recovered

    Helping Injured Victims in New York and New Jersey Since 2004

VISIT OUR MICROSITES
Partners
Testimonials
  • "The last of our 3 kids had his citizenship ceremony yesterday - we are pleased to report that we will have 3 voters at the coming election. We want to thank you and your crew for what has been a simple process for us. Very efficient, professional and easy in every way. Many thanks, -Gelhard, M. I really appreciate your dedication to customer service and will definitely be doing business with you for any of my future needs. Thanks again!" - Lopez, P

  • "Thanks so much for all your help it was really appreciated." - Carline and Varnel

  • "Mr. Pollack and Staff, You were there when we needed the most. Thank you very much!" - Alte, M.

Awards & Affiliations
  • Best Law Firms 2019
    AV 2019
    Best Law Firms 2018
    The leading immigration law publisher
  • noticed.co
    American Immigration Lawyers Association
    noticed.co
Newsletter Signup
Check Status on Immigration Case
LawLogix
Login
Password
Contact us

Quick Contact Form