The H-1B filing process may by getting harder soon. The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed new changes in the form ETA-9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is required for an employer company to obtain H1B visas for its non-immigrant employees. The DOL announced these changes on July 9, 2012 with a published notice in the Federal Register announcing a 60 day comment period that ends on September 7, 2012.
One of the proposed changes includes limiting the number of visa candidates to 10, while presently the form can be used for hundreds of candidates. The new form will require employers to provide more information about existing wages, whether employees require H1B visas, whether H1B employees are exempt, employer efforts to hire staff for US companies, and where employee public access files are kept.
Currently, the LCA form only asks for information about the employer and the job position offered. However, the proposed changes for the new LCA for will also require information about the beneficiary employees including their names, countries of citizenship, dates of birth, as well as their immigration status. As a result of these changes, employers will no longer be able to file an H1B petition for a new hire using an already existing approved LCA form.
Employers will lose flexibility as a result of these changes. Employers will no longer have the flexibility to send employees to new worksite locations without filing a new LCA, which at present is not required provided that the new location is in the same area of intended employment on the certified LCA. Employers will also be required to disclose end clients as well.