Dept. of Labor relaunches H-2B online portal after Jan. 1 crash

January 9, 2019 -  By

The Department of Labor (DOL)’s online portal for H-2B seasonal work visa applications is now fully operational. The online portal, called iCERT, crashed in the early hours of New Year’s Day due to overwhelming demand. The system came back online on Monday, Jan. 7.

U.S. lawmakers cap the number of H-2B visas available every year at 66,000, divided evenly between a winter and summer season. The Jan. 1 system outage was the result of massive demand, with employers requesting 97,800 H-2B workers even though only 33,000 visas are available, the DOL said in a Jan. 2 update on its website.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, on Jan. 1, 2018, businesses filed requests for more than 81,000 workers for the six-month summer season, starting last April 1, a record. In response, the Labor Department changed the process, turning it into a first-come, first-served system, creating heavy demand for the website on the first of the year.

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