Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is your H-1B employer’s EIN recognized by Department of Labor computer system?

In another post,, I discussed things you should be doing to get ready for your H-1B filing. In this post, I want to discuss a matter that really is your employer and attorney’s responsibility. However, I mention it to you because their failure to address it will delay your filing.

The matter involves ensuring that your employer’s federal employer identification number (EIN) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) computer systems—in particular, the computer system that handles labor condition applications (LCA). The fact that your employer does have an EIN, which is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), does not necessarily mean that this EIN automatically is known by the DOL computer systems, because these systems are separate.

If the DOL systems do not recognize your employer’s EIN, your attorney or employer will not be able to submit your LCA application. Rather, the system will flag the EIN entry as an error, and will continue to do until the DOL systems do receive and thus can recognize that EIN. Therefore, resolving this matter, a topic I address below, will delay your LCA filing and thus the LCA certification. Because your petition requires a certified LCA, your H-1B petition itself will be delayed, and this delay increases the risk that the cap will run out on you.

For this reason, particularly if your H-1B is the first one being filed by your employer, a good precaution is to request DOL to add your employer’s EIN to their system. To do so, your employer or attorney should submit an official document that contains the employer’s printed EIN, clearly marked at the EIN. An example of such a document might be a state or federal income tax payment coupon or the IRS letter that assigned the EIN. Your employer or attorney should email this scanned document to DOL, using the address and subject "LCA Business Verification Team." I recommend doing so as soon as possible, because the closer you get to April 1, the more DOL will receive such requests, and the slower might be their response.

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  4. Thanks for the blog. You just saved me $300 in attorney fees for this filing.