Feds To Relaunch Internet System For Requesting Foreign Guest Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled its internet system for accepting applications for foreign guest workers to be back up and running at noon MST on Monday, after high demand for H-2B visas caused it to crash on Jan. 1.
The system is called iCert, and it was developed about a decade ago. One of iCert’s uses is for submitting applications for H-2B seasonal foreign guest workers, like a cook at a resort.
Lawmakers have capped the annual number of H-2B visas at 66,000, and only half that many are available for the rest of Fiscal Year 2019.
Labor Department officials say U.S. employers sought nearly three times that many H-2B workers on New Year’s Day, and the flood of applications crashed the iCert system.
Government officials say they’ve increased iCert’s capacity and power to deal with another surge. But they’ve also developed a backup plan in case the system fails again.