The LCA is the document that your employer needs to file with the U.S. Department of Labor so that the government has a record of your job position and salary compared to the prevailing wage for your occupation. The form helps the government ensure that companies aren’t going out and recruiting foreign workers at lower wages than they would pay to American workers in the same role.
The steps to complete and submit the LCA are set out below.
The first step is for your employer to create an account with the DOL. The account can be created here by clicking on “Don’t have an account? Sign Up.”
Accept the terms and conditions, click “Create Employer Account” and fill out the form. This is fairly straightforward. Your employer needs to complete their login information, company information and point of contact information to create an account.
A few tips:
After you complete the registration form, click the “Create Account” button at the bottom of the page. Your employer will receive an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” with a temporary password for their account. You will want to make sure that your employer adds that email address to their contact list, because that is the address that sends all of the communications relating to your LCA.
Important note: If your company hasn’t lodged an LCA before, the DOL may not have a record of the company’s FEIN in its system. In that case you may get an error message when you fill out the form stating that you should not submit the LCA. If you do get this message don’t stress, it’s an easy fix. You or your employer will just need to email proof of the FEIN2 to the LCA Business Verification Team at LCA.Chicago@dol.gov, requesting that the DOL add your company’s FEIN to their system. The email should have the subject line “LCA Business Verification Team”. Once the DOL has verified the FEIN and confirmed by return email, you can go ahead and complete the LCA.
The LCA form is accessed from the same page as the employer account. Your employer will log in to their account, click the “LCA” link, and then click “Begin New ETA Form 9035”.
The key points from each section are set out below.
The visa type is “E-3 Australian”.
This is your employer company’s information, which will be copied from the information entered when your employer created an account.
Fill out your employer’s point of contact information. This should be your boss, and you can use their work address.
This section only needs to be completed if a lawyer or agent is preparing the LCA on your employer’s behalf. If your employer is completing the form,3 tick “No” and move to the next section.
Fill out your annual salary, leaving the “To:” section blank, and check the “Yearly” box. Remember that it is important that your salary is equal to or more than the prevailing wage for the SOC code that you’ve selected for your role.
Read the statements and check “Yes”. These are labor condition statements that your employer is agreeing to by completing and submitting the LCA.
This section relates to H-1B employers only, so you don’t need to complete it. Leave it and move on.
This section declares where the certified LCA will be kept, just in case the DOL decides to check in on your employer at any point.4 Check either box.
This is your employer’s declaration about the terms of your employment. Your boss’s details should be entered here.
This section only needs to completed if someone other than your boss or an attorney completed the LCA. You can leave this section.
This is the section the DOL will certify. You can leave this section.
Yep, all done. Your employer can submit the LCA.
The DOL advises that the LCA can take 7 days to be processed. This was the case for me; my LCA was submitted on a Friday and came back the following Friday.5 The certified LCA is sent via email to your employer’s email address, and on receipt they should print and sign the LCA and provide you with the original signed document for your visa interview.6
Next, we’ll look at how to prepare your DS-160 visa application.
The U.S. equivalent of the Australian Company Number / Australian Business Number.↩
An official document that contains the employer’s printed FEIN should be sufficient. E.g. A state or federal income tax payment receipt or the IRS letter assigning your company the FEIN.↩
Or you are completing it on your employer’s behalf.↩
I have never heard of this happening.↩
You should bear this in mind when booking your visa appointment.↩
You should also make copies for safe-keeping.↩