Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Know Labor Condition Application (LCA)

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of Learn how to fill Labor Condition Application (LCA) step by step. Whether you’re an employer looking to hire foreign talent or an employee seeking a work visa, understanding how to navigate the LCA process is crucial. Our expert insights and practical tips will help you confidently complete this essential step in obtaining an H-1B visa.

Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers
Form ETA-9035 & 9035E
U.S. Department of Labor download↷

Understanding the Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s start by understanding what the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is. This foundational knowledge will provide you with a solid grasp of its significance in the visa application process.

Importance of Accurate Information

One of the most critical aspects of filling out the LCA is ensuring that all information provided is accurate and up to date. We’ll explain why accuracy is paramount and what you need to double-check before submitting your application.

Step-by-Step Guide how to fill Labor Condition Application (LCA)

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations, such as sciences, medicine, and business, where a bachelor’s degree or equivalent expertise is required. There’s an annual cap of 65,000 visas, with an extra 20,000 for advanced degree holders.

The H-1B1 program for Chile and Singapore is for specialty occupation employment in the U.S., with 6,800 visas allocated annually, 1,400 for Chilean workers, and 5,400 for Singaporean workers.

The E-3 program is for Australian nationals in specialty occupations, with a cap of 10,500 visas annually.

For detailed information and application procedures, please visit the USCIS website

Step 1:

Determine the Prevailing Wage Employers must establish the wage rate, which should be the higher of the actual wage paid (the rate applicable to all other individuals with comparable experience and qualifications performing the same job) or the prevailing wage (a wage typically paid to workers in the same occupational classification within the intended employment area at the time of application submission). It’s crucial to note that employers are prohibited from paying a wage lower than the wage mandated by any other relevant federal, state, or local law.

While it is recommended, employers are not obliged to obtain a prevailing wage determination from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC). Additional information regarding prevailing wage determinations from the NPWC can be accessed here.

Step 2:

Submitting an LCA to the Chicago National Processing Center Employers are required to electronically file a Labor Condition Application (Form ETA-9035/9035E) with the Department of Labor via the FLAG system, affirming their compliance with the H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 program requirements. LCAs should not be submitted more than six months before the commencement of the employment period. There are two exceptions to electronic filing: employers with physical disabilities or those lacking internet access for electronic filing of Form ETA-9035E. In such cases, employers must request special permission from the Administrator of OFLC to submit an LCA by mail using Form ETA-9035.

Step 3:

Case Processing and Subsequent Steps The Department reviews LCAs for completeness and apparent errors or inaccuracies within seven working days. Employers can monitor the status of their applications with the Department and access certified applications directly via the FLAG System. Employers with certified LCAs can then proceed with the H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa application process through USCIS and the Department of State

Filling Out Form ETA-9035E

  1. Employer Information:
    • Provide accurate details about the employer, including the legal name, address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  2. Employee Information:
    • Include the foreign worker’s full name, job title, and intended employment start date.
  3. Job Location:
    • Specify the exact worksite address where the foreign worker will be stationed during their employment.
  4. Prevailing Wage Determination:
    • Determine the prevailing wage for the specific job in the geographic area. Ensure you pay the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage for the position.
  5. Labor Condition Section:
    • Indicate whether the LCA is for a new H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa or an extension.
    • Verify that the employment conditions align with the required labor standards.
    • Confirm that the foreign employee will receive benefits and working conditions on par with U.S. workers.
  6. Authorized Signature:
    • An authorized representative of the employer must sign and date the LCA.
  7. LCA Submission:
    • Submit the completed LCA to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). You can do this electronically through the DOL’s iCERT portal or by mail.
  8. Certification Waiting Period:
    • Wait for the DOL to review your LCA and issue a certified LCA, typically within seven working days for electronic submissions.
  9. Notice Requirement:
    • Notify existing employees and the bargaining representative about the LCA filing within 30 days before or after submission.
  10. Record Keeping:
    • Maintain records of the LCA and all supporting documentation for public inspection, typically for one year after the LCA’s expiration.
  11. Compliance with Labor Standards:
    • Ensure ongoing compliance with all labor standards and conditions throughout the foreign worker’s employment.
  12. H-1B Petition Filing:
    • Once you have the certified LCA, you can proceed to file the H-1B petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Wage Determination

  • Wage Determination: The process of determining the appropriate wage rate for foreign workers applying for H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visas in the United States.
  • Prevailing Wage: The wage rate set by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for a specific job in a particular geographic area, based on the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in that area.
  • Actual Wage: The wage rate paid by the employer to their U.S. workers in the same job with similar qualifications and experience.
  • Higher of Prevailing or Actual Wage: Employers must pay the foreign worker either the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher, to ensure fair compensation.
  • Wage Source: Employers can obtain prevailing wage data from the DOL’s Online Wage Library or request a prevailing wage determination directly from the DOL.
  • Compliance: Adhering to wage determination regulations is crucial to ensure fair wages for foreign workers and to meet the requirements of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) for visa applications.
  • Wage Level: H-1B visas have four wage levels (I, II, III, and IV) based on the foreign worker’s experience and job complexity, with higher levels requiring higher wages.
  • Record Keeping: Employers must maintain records of wage determination, including prevailing wage data, to demonstrate compliance with labor standards and regulations.
  • Periodic Adjustments: Prevailing wage rates can change periodically, so it’s essential for employers to stay updated and adjust wages accordingly.
  • DOL Oversight: The U.S. Department of Labor monitors and enforces compliance with prevailing wage regulations to protect both foreign workers and U.S. employees.
  • Transparency: The prevailing wage system aims to promote transparency and fairness in labor practices, ensuring that foreign workers are not paid less than their U.S. counterparts for the same job.

Compliance with Labor Condition Application (LCA)

  • Adhering to labor laws is essential for both employers and employees.
  • Compliance ensures fair treatment, safety, and ethical standards in the workplace.
  • Employers must follow federal, state, and local labor laws that apply to their industry and location.
  • Key areas of labor law compliance include minimum wage, overtime pay, workplace safety, and non-discrimination.
  • Employers should establish clear policies and procedures to ensure compliance with labor laws.
  • Regularly reviewing and updating employment policies and practices is vital to stay compliant.
  • Failure to comply with labor laws can result in legal penalties, fines, and damage to a company’s reputation.
  • Employees have the right to report labor law violations and seek legal recourse if necessary.
  • Consulting with legal experts or HR professionals can help employers navigate complex labor regulations.
  • Promoting a culture of compliance fosters a positive work environment and strengthens the reputation of businesses.

Labor Condition Application (LCA) Processing Times

Time is often of the essence when it comes to visas. Discover how long it typically takes for an LCA to be processed, helping you plan your visa application timeline effectively.

LSI Keywords in Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Employing Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords is essential for optimizing your LCA application. Learn how to incorporate them seamlessly into your application without overtly mentioning them.

When optimizing content for SEO, including LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords is essential to improve search engine visibility. For the topic of the Labor Condition Application (LCA), here’s how you can incorporate the LSI keyword “example” naturally:

“In this comprehensive guide on completing the Labor Condition Application (LCA), we’ll walk you through the process step by step, providing a clear ‘example’ to illustrate each stage. Understanding how to properly fill out the LCA with a practical ‘example’ can help streamline your visa application.”

Including LSI keywords like “example” helps search engines better understand the context of your content and can improve your content’s ranking in search results

Avoiding Common Mistakes of Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Mistakes can lead to application denials or delays. We’ll highlight common errors applicants make and provide tips on how to avoid them.

  • Incorrect Wage Determination: Ensure the wage you offer meets or exceeds the prevailing wage for the job in the specific geographic area. Underpaying can result in LCA rejection.
  • Inaccurate Job Location: Specify the correct worksite address. Failing to do so can lead to complications when placing the employee.
  • Failure to Notify Employees: Neglecting to inform existing employees and bargaining representatives about the LCA filing within the required timeframe can lead to compliance issues.
  • Lack of Public Access: Keep accurate records and be prepared to provide access to the LCA and supporting documents for public inspection as required by law.
  • Late Filing: Submit the LCA in a timely manner, considering processing times. Late filing can delay the visa application process.
  • Inadequate Documentation: Ensure all supporting documentation is complete and accurate, including the posting of the LCA notice in the workplace.
  • Non-Compliance with Labor Standards: Violating labor standards or conditions specified in the LCA can result in penalties and jeopardize future visa applications.
  • Improper Signatory: Have an authorized representative of the employer sign the LCA form, as required by the DOL.
  • Ignoring Employee Benefits: Provide foreign workers with benefits on par with U.S. workers to avoid labor condition violations.
  • Failure to Retain Records: Maintain records of the LCA and related documents for the required period to facilitate inspections and audits.
  • Not Following Up: After obtaining the certified LCA, ensure that you proceed with the H-1B petition filing promptly. Delays can impact on the employee’s start date.

What supporting documents Labor Condition Application (LCA)

  • Prevailing Wage Determination: Provide evidence of the prevailing wage rate in the geographic area where the foreign employee will work. This information can usually be obtained from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division or a credible wage survey.
  • Actual Wage Documentation: Include records substantiating the actual wage intended for the foreign worker. This might encompass payroll records, salary agreements, or related documentation.
  • Posting Notice: Offer proof of having posted an LCA filing notice at the intended worksite. This notice should be readily visible to all employees and can take the form of a memo or electronic notification.
  • Public Access File: Establish and maintain a public access file containing crucial documents, including the LCA, prevailing wage data, and records of the posting notice. Ensure that this file is accessible for public inspection upon request.
  • Benefit Plan Information: If your organization extends benefit plans to employees, provide information to demonstrate that the foreign worker will receive benefits on par with U.S. workers.
  • Bona Fide Job Opportunity: Present documentation that substantiates the legitimacy of the job for which you are hiring the foreign worker. This may include job descriptions, recruitment efforts, and other pertinent information.
  • Union Consultation (if applicable): In the event of a unionized workplace, include evidence of consultation with the bargaining representative or a copy of the bargaining agreement.
  • Payroll Records: Maintain accurate payroll records for the foreign worker to validate compliance with wage requirements.
  • Correspondence with USCIS (if applicable): If there has been any communication with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the H-1B petition related to the LCA, include copies of this correspondence.
  • Any Other Relevant Documentation: Depending on your specific situation, additional documentation may be necessary to support the LCA application. This could encompass letters of support, job postings, or other pertinent records.

Hiring an Immigration Attorney

If the LCA process seems daunting, you may consider hiring an immigration attorney. We’ll discuss the benefits of having legal expertise on your side.

FAQs about Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Labor Condition Application (LCA):

  • What is the purpose of the LCA?
  • Can an employee pay the LCA fees?
  • Is the LCA required for all H-1B visa applications?
  • How long is the LCA valid?
  • Can an LCA be amended after submission?
  • What happens if an LCA is denied?

Answers to FAQs

Let’s provide concise answers to these frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of the LCA process.

  • The LCA ensures that foreign workers are paid fairly and do not negatively impact the U.S. job market.
  • No, LCA fees must be paid by the employer.
  • Yes, the LCA is a mandatory step for all H-1B visa applications.
  • The LCA is typically valid for up to three years.
  • Yes, amendments to the LCA can be submitted to reflect changes in employment terms.
  • If an LCA is denied, it may impact the H-1B visa application process.


By following our comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the Labor Condition Application (LCA) process successfully. Remember, accuracy is key, and seeking legal guidance when needed can greatly enhance your chances of a smooth LCA application experience.


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