As of Jan. 21, 2010, all requests by employers for prevailing wage determinations must be submitted electronically using the immigration certification system (“the iCERT System”) set up by the National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (the “NPWHC”) of the Department of Labor (“DOL”).
Prevailing wage determinations (“PWDs”) set the wages that must be paid to non-union workers who are employed in jobs in the United States by U.S. employers, and they are an essential part of any H-1B visa application or permanent labor certification (PERM) filed by a U.S. employer on behalf of a foreign national employee.
The new features of the iCERT System should actually be very helpful in saving time, cutting costs and tracking the status of PWD petitions. Among other things, the iCERT System will allow employers to:
- Start a new prevailing wage application and submit it online
- Save a PWD application in progress and return at a later time to finish it
- Withdraw a submitted PWD application
- Re-use the information on a current PWD application to create a new one
- Request a redetermination review for rejected applications
- Access readily available printed forms and instructions for PWD applications
- View a case summary screen that will allow users to see the status of their last 10 applications submitted
Employers or their authorized attorneys will be required to register on the iCERT System and create accounts prior to use. They will also be required to activate the special prevailing wage features if they want to use them for PWD applications.
Also, at this time, employers who want to use a private wage survey in lieu of a collective bargaining rate or a DOL survey must continue to submit supporting documentation in hard copy to support their PWD applications to the NPWHC.
Employers can contact the DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification for further information, or you can call our office at (847) 564-0712. Employers might also want to check out our website for additional information on prevailing wages.