In an announcement on the iCERT website today, DOL provided additional information on the cause of the iCERT system issues and indicated that further updates will be provided at some point on Thursday, January 3, 2019. DOL is aware of the impact this system outage has on other programs (i.e., PERM, H-1B, H-2A, etc.) and AILA will continue to update members of any additional information or updates received.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT (Updated January 2, 2019, 12:00PM EST):
Within the first five minutes of opening the semi-annual H-2B certification process on January 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor iCERT system had an unprecedented demand for H-2B certifications with more than 97,800 workers requested in pending applications for the 33,000 available visas. With more than thirty-times the user demand on the iCERT system compared to last year on January 1, the iCERT system experienced a system disruption. The Employment and Training Administration, working with the Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, is working diligently to have the system ready within a few days to accept a record number of H-2B applications. Enhancing system capacity and dealing with other factors such as the possible use of automated script programs during the application process are being addressed in iCERT to ensure certifications can be processed. As previously stated, the Department will be giving at least 24 hours’ notice before the iCERT system is re-opened. A further update will be provided on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
January 1, 2019
Around midnight on January 1, 2019, AILA members who were attempting to file H-2B labor certification applications via the Department of Labor’s iCERT portal were either kicked out of the system (timed out) or received error messages and were unable to file. In response to contact by the AILA DOL Liaison Committee, DOL indicated that it was aware of the technical problems and eventually posted the following announcement:
We sincerely apologize for the major service interruption in the iCERT System around midnight. In the interest of equity for all stakeholders, the Department’s technology staff have temporarily taken the iCERT System down. We are working diligently to determine root cause analysis and developing a plan to correct this situation as expeditiously as possible. As soon as we are prepared to bring the iCERT System back up, the Department will place a new public notice on the OFLC website and the iCERT System website.
Shortly thereafter, DOL advised that iCERT will be down for the remainder of January 1 until further notice. DOL stated that an update will be provided by 12:00 PM EST on January 2, 2019.