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Foreign Labor Certification Program

From the United States department of Labor:

ETA News Release: [04/28/2015]
Contact Name: Egan Reich or Jason Kuruvilla
Phone Number: (202) 693-4960 or x6587
Reich.Egan@dol.gov or Kuruvilla.Jason@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-0772-NAT

New rules for the H-2B visa program announced by
the US Departments of Labor and Homeland Security

WASHINGTON — In response to recent court decisions that have created significant uncertainty around the H-2B temporary foreign nonagricultural worker program, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security today announced an interim final rule to reinstate and make improvements to the program and a final rule to establish the prevailing wage methodology for that program.

These rules strengthen protections for U.S. workers, providing that they have a fair shot at finding and applying for jobs for which employers are seeking H-2B workers, while also providing that employers can access foreign workers on a temporary basis when U.S. workers are not available. The rules include several provisions to expand recruitment of U.S. workers, including more real-time recruitment efforts, requiring employers to offer work to former U.S. employees first, and establishing a national electronic job registry. They strengthen worker protections with respect to wages, working conditions, and benefits that must be offered to H-2B and U.S. workers covered by these regulations. They also establish the prevailing wage methodology for the H-2B program, reinstating the use of employer-provided surveys to set the prevailing wage in certain limited situations.

The Departments intend these rules to support our nation's businesses and the U.S. economy by expeditiously reinstating the H-2B program and bringing certainty, stability, and continuity to the program in reaction to litigation on multiple fronts that has threatened to terminate employers' ability to use H-2B workers. The new rules also provide interim transition procedures so that employers have time to adjust to the new rules.

The new rules are available at the Federal Register through the following links:

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-2B Petitions
On April 20, 2015, USCIS will resume accepting premium processing requests for Form I-129 H-2B petitions. USCIS had announced a temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-2B petitions on March 9, 2015.
Beginning April 20, 2015, employers will be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO H-2B Applicants (April 16, 2015)

The Department of Labor received notice late last evening that the Court in the Northern District of Florida has granted an extension of the stay through May 15, 2015.

Electronic filing in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs is available through the Department of Labor’s iCERT Visa Portal System. Click here for more information:H-2A and H-2B Electronic Filing Implementation

H-2A- Temporary Agricultural Program
The H-2A temporary agricultural program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employment is of a seasonal nature where it is tied to a certain time of year by an event or pattern, such as a short annual growing cycle, and requires labor levels above what is necessary for ongoing operations. Employment is of a temporary nature when the employer's need to fill the position with a temporary worker will last no longer than 10 months.

For detailed information on the filing process, click here:

H-2B- Temporary Non-Agricultural Program
An employer seeking to fill job opportunities through the H-2B program must demonstrate that it has a temporary need for the services or labor, as defined by one of four regulatory standards: (1) a one-time occurrence; (2) a seasonal need; (3) a peak-load need; or (4) an intermittent need. Generally, that period of time is limited to nine (9) months or less, except in the case of a one-time occurrence, which could last up to 3 years.

For detailed information on the filing process,
click here

Employers who who have questions on their job order may e-mail to H-2B@oesc.state.ok.us.



H-2A Application Process

What Steps Do I Take Before Filing an H-2A Application?
Prior to filing an Application for Temporary Employment Certification, the employer must prepare a job offer on the
ETA Form 790 - Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order and submit the form and all attachments to the State Workforce Agency (SWA) serving the area of intended employment for intrastate clearance. The following requirements must be met:

  • The job order must be submitted to the SWA no more than 75 calendar days and no fewer than 60 calendar days before the start date of the job by using the H-2A@oesc.state.ok.us e-mail box;
  • The job order must be identified as one that will be used in connection with a future Application for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142) with the U.S. Department of Labor; and
  • The contents of the job order must satisfy the requirements of 20 CFR part 653, subpart F and 20 CFR 655.122.

Upon receipt of the job order, the SWA will review the job order and notify the employer in writing of any deficiencies in the job order within seven (7) calendar days after it has been submitted. The employer must respond to the Notice of Deficiency within five (5) calendar days after receipt of the SWA notification. The SWA must respond to the employer's response within three (3) calendar days. The employer will receive a Notice of Acceptance from the SWA providing the job order number, intrastate clearance date and the 50 percent date. The job order will be active until the end of the recruitment period, which will extend through 50 percent of the period of employment.

Please Note: During the period of “active recruitment” the employer must hire all U.S. workers that are qualified, able and willing to accept the job.

What Documents Must I File with the U.S. DOL/ETA Chicago NPC (CNPC)?
All agricultural employers who desire to hire H-2A foreign agricultural workers must apply for certification from the Secretary by filing the following with the CNPC:

  1. Completed ETA Form 9142 - Application for Temporary Employment Certification;
  2. Completed ETA Form 9142 - Appendix A.2 bearing the original signature of the employer and, if applicable, that of the employer's attorney or agent); and
  3. Copy of the ETA Form 790 and all attachments

The Department must determine that:

  1. there are not sufficient able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers available to perform the temporary and seasonal agricultural employment for which nonimmigrant foreign workers are being requested; and
  2. the employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The statute and Departmental regulations provide numerous worker protections and employer requirements with respect to wages and working conditions. The U.S. DOL Wage and Hour Division (WHD) bears responsibility for enforcing provisions of worker contracts.

When Can I File the H-2A Application Package?
A complete application package must be received by the CNPC at least forty-five (45) calendar days before the first date on which workers are needed. Employer may not file with the ETA Chicago NPC until
after the job order has been submitted to and reviewed by the SWA in accordance with the regulatory timeframe (i.e., no more than 75 days and no less than 60 days before the anticipated start date of work).

However, the CNPC may waive the regulatory timeframes for filing in emergency situations pursuant to 20 CFR 655.134 (e.g., first time filers, unforeseen changes in market conditions), and where the employer is unable to resolve deficiencies in the job order with the SWA or the SWA is unable to respond to the employer's job order within the regulatory timeframes. 

Where Do I File the H-2A Application Package?
A complete application package including the ETA Form 9142, ETA Form 790, all Attachments and supporting documentation may be mailed or delivered by private mail courier to :

U.S. Department of Labor - ETA
Chicago National Processing Center
536 South Clark Street, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605 -1509
Attention: H-2A Program Unit

For complete and detailed information on the H-2 certification process visit the U.S. DOL/ETA CNPC website found at



H-2B Application Process  _

  • Step 1: Employer Obtains a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) using the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (ETA Form 9141).The PWD application is available for electronic filing on the iCERT System. The PWD must be valid either on the date recruitment begins or the date of filing a complete Application for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142).The application for PWD may also be submitted by mail to the following address:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
National Prevailing Wage Center
1341 G Street, NW- Suite 201
Washington, DC 20005- 3105
ATTN: PWD Request

  • Step 2:  Employer Conducts Pre-Filing Recruitment by:
    • Filing a job order no more than 120 calendar days prior to the employer's date of need with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) serving the area of intended employment. The job order must be open and available for recruitment purposes for a minimum of 10 full calendar days.

* Oklahoma allows H-2B employers to post their job orders in the state’s Job Order System, OKJobMatch. However, employers must notify the H-2B email box and the Workforce Center in the area of intended employment when a job order is posted.  When entering self-service H-2B job orders, ensure your job order is categorized as a Foreign Labor Certification - H-2B Job order when entered.  The job order must state that it is filed in connection with a future application for  H-2B workers.  

                            Employers must also publish two print advertisements for the position(s), one of which must be on a Sunday.  Advertisements must be placed during the period of time the job order is active

    • The job order and the print advertising must contain the following information:
      • Employer's name and contact information to allow applications to send resumes;
      • Geographic area of employment to allow applicants to be aware of travel requirements and where applicant will likely have to reside to perform the services or labor;
      • If transportation to the worksite is provided by the employer, the advertising must say so;
      • Description of the job opportunity including the job duties to apprise applicants of services or labor to be performed and the duration of the job opportunity;
      • Work hours and days, expected start and end dates of employment, and whether or not overtime will be available
      • Wage offer or offers in the event of multiple wage offers;
      • That the position is temporary, and the total number of job openings the employer intends to fill
    • Clarification on 3rd party(Agent completed) H-2B orders –

      Some approval processes have been tightened up for OKJobMatch & in the future, new employer accounts will not be approved if managed by a third party. (Any old employer accounts will stay as they are for now).

       For example- "Okie Agent" gets a new H-2B account for ABC Food Processing.  

      "Okie Agent" will:

      • Go to the "Okie Agent" account in OKJobMatch
      • Create a new job order
      • Under
      Title & Company tab, item 2. Company Information, select the Confidential-Name will not be displayed box (don’t want "Okie Agent" info to display).
      • Under
      Description tab, identify the company, city & state related to the job order.  (Contact information for company can be put at end of this job description.)
      • Under
      Recruitment Information tab, under Interview contact preferences, select appropriate contact method(s) for jobseekers making application. (This is the primary place for contact information).

      This process will allow for agents, attorneys, or any other 3rd party group to manage their employer job orders through their own account instead of multiple user names & passwords.  This also brings 3rd party representatives into compliance with the OKJobMatch employer account agreement. Any questions regarding your OKJobMatch account or completing this process, should be directed to

      For further assistance, in general, please contact the H-2B@oesc.state.ok.us email in-box.

  • Step 3:  Employer submits an application and provides the following documentation to the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC):

a. A completed ETA Form 9142, Application for Temporary
Employment Certification;

b. ETA Form 9142 - Appendix B.1;

c. A completed recruitment report;

d. Any applicable supporting documentation (documentation
substantiating temporary need is recommended).

Employers may now submit their H-2B application either electronically OR via mail directly to the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC). The employer must choose only one method of submission. Duplicate applications, where the employer or authorized representative files electronically and submits that same application via U.S. mail, will be rejected.

The employer may mail the application package to the Chicago NPC at the following address:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Chicago National Processing Center
11 West Quincy Court
Chicago, IL 60604- 2105
ATTN: H-2B Program Unit

For forms, applications and additional information on other types of applications see the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov

ETA Form 790

ETA Form 9142

ETA Form 9142 Appendix A2

FLC Job Order Referral Report

Instructions for Completion of I-9 (rev 1/2011)


How to contact us:

U.S. Department of Labor 
Employment and Training Administration
Chicago National Processing Center 
844 N Rush St   12th Floor 
Chicago  IL  60611
Phone: 323-886-8000
Fax: 312-886-1688

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Foreign Labor Certification Program

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program

H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Program
2401 N Lincoln Blvd
P.O. Box 52003 
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2003

Pam Hoskins, Program Mgr.pam.hoskins@oesc.state.ok.us
Phone: 405-557-5474

Kristen Lee, FLC Specialist
Phone: 405-557-7112

FAX: 405-557-7287



Updated 4/29/2015