e-3 Visa guide
LABOR CONDITION APPLICATION
WHAT IS A LABOR CONDITION APPLICATION?
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 LCA is completed online here, however you can see what the form looks like here. You can also purchase a PDF version of a completed LCA form below, to reference when completing your own Labor Condition Application.
Purchase a PDF version of a completed Labor Condition Application (LCA) to reference when completing your own Labor Condition Application. The document is 6 pages long.
The steps to complete and submit the LCA are set out below.
CREATE AN EMPLOYER ACCOUNT
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:
Visa Program – For the E-3 visa, select “LCA”.
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) – Your employer will have this. The FEIN is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to businesses operating in the U.S. The U.S. equivalent of the Australian Company Number / Australian Business Number.
Business DBA – This means “doing business as” and is the equivalent of “trading as” in Australia.
NAICS code – Similar to the SOC code system, the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies to classify businesses for the purpose of collecting statistical data related to the U.S. economy. You will need to search for the code most applicable to your employer’s line of business. You can search for the code via the iCert page, but the better option is to drill-down through the relevant industry categories here to find the most appropriate code.
After you complete the registration form, click the “Create Account” button at the bottom of the page. Your employer will receive an email from “email@example.com” 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.
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 FEIN to the LCA Business Verification Team at LCA.Chicago@dol.gov, requesting that the DOL add your company’s FEIN to their system. 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). 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.
COMPLETING 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”.
Job Title – Use the job title from your letter of offer.
SOC code and SOC occupation title – Use the SOC code and occupational group title that you determined from the O*Net Connector site.
Period of Intended Employment – This will depend on your job, but it will usually be two years to match up with the length of the E-3 visa.
Total Worker Positions Being Request for Certification – If the E-3 visa is just for you and you’re starting a new job, put “1” for Total Workers, “1” in New Employment, and “0” in boxes (b) to (f).
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, or if you are completing it on your employer’s behalf, tick “No” and move to the next section.
Question 1. Estimated number of workers that will perform work at this place of employment under the LCA – Enter 1 in this field. The LCA applies only to you.
Questions 2-3. Indicate whether the worker(s) subject to this LCA will be placed with a secondary entity at this place of employment – Check “No” and leave question 3 blank.
Questions 4-9. Fill out your work address.
Question 10. Fill out your annual salary, leaving the “To:” section blank, and check the “Yearly” box in 10a. 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.
Question 11. Enter the prevailing wage information you determined for your SOC code and check the “Yearly” box in 11a.
Question 12-14. Check no. 13 and leave questions 12 and 14 blank. No. 13 is applicable because the prevailing wage information on the FLC Data Center website is sourced from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Program. For 13a, check the applicable wage level for your selected SOC code. For 13b (Source Year), enter the current year.
Read the statements and check “Yes”. These are labor condition statements that your employer is agreeing to in 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. (I have never heard of this happening.) Check either box.
This is your employer’s declaration about the terms of your employment. Your boss’s details should be entered here. Leave 5 and 6 blank. These will be signed and dated when the LCA is returned.
This section only needs to completed if someone other than your boss or an attorney completed the LCA. You can leave this section blank.
This is the section the DOL will certify. You can leave this section.
IS THAT IT?
Yes, that’s it. Your employer can submit the LCA.
How long does the LCA take to be processed?
The DOL advises that the LCA can take seven days to be processed. This was the case for me. My LCA was submitted on a Friday and was returned the following Friday. The certified LCA is sent via email to your employer’s email address. On receipt they should print and sign the LCA and provide you with the original signed document for your visa interview. You should also make copies for safe-keeping.