What is an LCA? (Labor Condition Application)

(3 min read)

 The Labor Condition Application (LCA) is a form employers must file with the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Employers apply on the behalf of employees applying for a nonimmigrant H-1B, H-1B1 (Singapore and Chile) or E-3 (Australia) work visa.

Employers must submit Form ETA 9035/9035E to apply. If approved, the LCA is valid for up to three years of employment (two years for E-3).

What are an Employer’s Requirements for an LCA?

The main purpose of an LCA is for employers to attest to the employment details of H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 applicants. Furthermore, The Department of Labor requires employers to maintain documentation that considers that following four labor conditions:

Wages and benefits.

Employers must provide nonimmigrant workers the same (or better) wages and benefits that are provided to other company employees doing similar work. Additionally, they must provide nonimmigrant workers the prevailing wages and benefits for similar jobs in their geographic area.

Working conditions. 

Nonimmigrant employment must not negatively affect the working conditions of employees doing similar work. The working conditions for nonimmigrant employees must also be similar to those of native U.S. employees.

Labor disputes. 

There must not be “a strike, lockout or work stoppage” at the employment location when the LCA is signed and submitted. If a labor dispute arises after the LCA is submitted, employers have three days to notify the ETA. Therefore, the LCA cannot be used to obtain a work visa until the ETA confirms the labor dispute is over.


LCAs are a matter of public record, and employers must notify any employee bargaining representatives of every application submitted. If there is no representative, the notification must be clearly posted for 10 days in two locations at the workplace. Copies of the applications must be provided to each nonimmigrant employee as well.

In addition to attesting to these labor conditions, employers will also have to declare the job titles, the wage rate, the length and location of each nonimmigrant employee. Also, they will have to provide the total number of nonimmigrant employees.

After online submission, the Department of Labor reviews the Labor Condition Application within seven working days. If there are errors, employers may correct and resubmit the form. If approved, nonimmigrant employees can move on to the next steps of their work visa process. For more on the process, and on how to obtain an H-1B/H-1B1/E-3 work visa, visit this Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration guide. Employers submit Form ETA 9035/9035E to apply.

What Are the Requirements of H-1B-dependent Employers and Employers that Willfully Violate the Attestations?

Here’s what the Department of Labor considers an H-1B-dependent business:

What is an H-1B-dependent business?
Number of Full Time Equivalent Employees Number of H-1B Nonimmigrant Employees
1 to 25 8 or more
26 to 50 13 or more
51 or more 15 percent or more of the workforce (U.S. and H-1B workers)

Additional attestations and supporting documentation are required for H-1B-dependent employers and companies that the ETA has charged with “willful misrepresentation” on an LCA within the past five years.


Employers cannot displace a similar U.S. employee 90 days before or after filing for a nonimmigrant work visa.

Secondary displacement. 

Employers must be able to prove they’ve done their best to ensure that their nonimmigrant employees at the same worksite will not displace a similar U.S. employee 90 days before or after filing for a nonimmigrant work visa (e.g., staffing agency, contractor).

Recruitment and hiring. 

Employers must first make the effort to meet industry standards to recruit similarly or better qualified U.S. worker before filing an LCA. Additionally, they must also offer the job to a U.S. worker first as well.

However, H-1B-dependent employers can exempt themselves from these extra attestations if all nonimmigrant employees have master’s degrees or will receive wages at a rate equal to at least $60,000 per year.

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What are Public Access Files?


What are Public Access Files?

Public Access Files

With the compliance mandates around public access files (PAF), they continue to be a point of worry for recruiters and staffing agencies. Recognizing this, SWARMHR released a feature that not only automates this for you, but also relieves you of the constant run to be compliant.

What are Public Access Files?

As we all know, public access files are a consolidated list of the below documents of a consultant:

  • LCA Cover Page
  • Labor Condition Application Wage Rate Statement Benefit Summary
  • Notification Documents for Posting of the LCA & Job Posting List of “exempt” H-1B employee
  • Actual Wage Rate Memorandum
  • Copy of Prevailing Wage Determination

Companies filing H1Bs (extensions, amendments, new jobs etc) , are mandated to have Labor Condition Application (LCA), as well as public access files. These LCAs are filed with the Department of Labor. As per US labor laws, companies filing for LCAs are mandated to have a PFA for the LCA within 24 hours of filing.

Public Access Files

SWARM HR’s Public Access Files

SWARMHR enables instant PAF creation for you, taking away the worry of compliance and procedure.

It all starts with a checklist of necessary documents ensuring no mistakes. Along with this, there are additional options to upload any desired documents. There is also an option to register and store multiple signatures of required approving authorities. The automation and standardization of fields within a seamless procedure make this process of PAF creation and uploading error-proof.

Benefits you Reap:


You save 100% of the time spent in creating a Public Access File – the system automatically does it for you.

Automate creation and hosting of a PAF with a single-click.


The system auto-generates the defined public access file, thus ensuring you are always compliant.

Eliminate the need of an FTE with a robust system that guarantees error-free results.

Maintain all data in a centralized, secure database.

Avoid penalties by making the PAF available within 24 hours of an H1B being filed (A cover letter is automatically hosted on SWARMHR which ensures compliance until the PAF is published).

Integrated with the DOL website allowing users to import LCAs directly from the source.


To learn more about SWARMHR, click here.


How to Fill Out Form I9: What Employers Need to Know

How to Fill Out Form I9!

Can you imagine being fined almost $800 because your employee forgot to sign a piece of paper? Multiply that one mistake by thousands of employees and the result is a huge headache for business owners who fail to pay attention to I-9 forms.

The purpose of the I-9 is to help employers verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire. Every new employee hired after November 6, 1986 is required to have an I-9 form. Not having a properly completed I-9 form can result in fines of $110 to $1100 per I-9.  Over the past few years the number of I-9 audits has increased dramatically, so it’s important to make sure I-9’s are being completed accurately and on time for every new employee.

Recently, Ketchikan Drywall Services (KDS), a drywall and framing company in Washington state, was fined $173,250 for 225 separate I-9 violations; That’s an average fine of $770 per I-9 form. Many of the violations were a result of simple mistakes, such as failing to check a status box, checking more than one status box, checking the wrong status box, failing to sign the I-9, not listing all required information for List A, B, or C, accepting improper documentation, and a failure to complete Section 3 of the I-9 when necessary. This just goes to show that even clerical errors can add up to huge fines and cost a company a lot of money.

So what can you do? Take a few minutes and watch the video on how to fill out form I9! The few minutes you will spend reviewing the I-9 could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future. At SWARMHR, we want to ensure that your business has good HR compliance practices and will continue to provide content that helps business owners.

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