UPDATE: The iCERT Portal System is currently unavailable
The Department of Labor announced an iCERT service interruption on Jan. 1:
We sincerely apologize for the major service interruption in the iCERT System early in the morning of January 1, 2019. Due to overwhelming filing demand, the Department’s technology staff is working diligently to investigate the cause of the system outage and has temporarily taken the iCERT System down for the remainder of January 1st and until further notice. The Department will provide another update on the status of the iCERT System around 12:00PM EST, January 2nd, and separate advance public notice regarding when the iCERT System will be operational once again.
We understand there were H-2B groups and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) engaged with DOL during this event. They report the system “crashed sometime after midnight on January 1,” preventing H-2B, H-1B, and other filings.
As of this writing, the entirety of the legal and policy implications of this disruption are not fully known.
The Department of Labor provided an iCERT update this afternoon:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT (Updated January 2, 2019, 12:00PM EST):
Within the first five minutes of opening the semi-annual H-2B certification process on January 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor iCERT system had an unprecedented demand for H-2B certifications with more than 97,800 workers requested in pending applications for the 33,000 available visas. With more than thirty-times the user demand on the iCERT system compared to last year on January 1, the iCERT system experienced a system disruption. The Employment and Training Administration, working with the Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, is working diligently to have the system ready within a few days to accept a record number of H-2B applications. Enhancing system capacity and dealing with other factors such as the possible use of automated script programs during the application process are being addressed in iCERT to ensure certifications can be processed. As previously stated, the Department will be giving at least 24 hours’ notice before the iCERT system is re-opened. A further update will be provided on Thursday, January 3, 2019. https://icert.doleta.gov/
We will continue monitoring and posting relevant updates and analysis. Please check back.