|Foreign Labor Certification|
As part of the Department's continuing commitment to customer service and the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, OFLC has established an Ombudsman Program whose primary purpose is to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns that arise within the H-2A Program community, by conducting independent and impartial inquiries into issues related to the administration of the program. The H-2A Ombudsman Program also identifies areas where agricultural employers and worker advocate organizations have concerns in dealing with the OFLC and propose internal recommendations designed to continuously improve the quality of services provided by the OFLC. There is no fee for using the H-2A Ombudsman Program.
Important Note! The OFLC Chicago National Processing Center (NPC) makes every effort to process all H-2A applications in an efficient and effective manner in accordance with statutory and regulatory processing times. In the vast majority of cases, our customers receive final decisions in a timely manner and are able to successfully resolve any issues or problems by contacting the Chicago NPC directly.
Therefore, before contacting the H-2A Ombudsman Program for assistance, we ask that you first try to resolve your issue or problem by contacting the Chicago NPC via telephone on (312) 886-8000 or via electronic mail at TLC.firstname.lastname@example.org (recommended).
The H-2A Ombudsman Program may be able to help if:
- You are facing an emergency or hardship that you believe may have been caused by a mistake, error, or delay in the processing of your H-2A application.
- You believe there is a noticeable pattern of inconsistencies or errors on approved H-2A job orders posted on the iCERT Visa Portal System's public job registry at http://icert.doleta.gov.
- You are experiencing a problem with your H-2A application that you have not been able to resolve with the OFLC Chicago NPC.
- Your H-2A application is pending beyond statutory or regulatory processing times and you do not know or understand what is causing a delay.
The H-2A Ombudsman Program is not able to help if:
- You are seeking legal advice. We do not provide legal advice and cannot act as an advocate for any stakeholder.
- You are seeking assistance in filling out an H-2A application.
- You are presenting concerns or issues which are hypothetical in nature or otherwise do not involve H-2A applications that have not yet been filed. We cannot “pre-approve” H-2A applications or otherwise provide advice on any H-2A application not fully developed.
- You are seeking the reversal of an official action or decision by the Chicago NPC. While we can assist informally with your concern, we do not have decision-making authority and cannot serve as a replacement to the regulatory appeals process.
- You are seeking assistance with an issue that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the OFLC. The H-2A Ombudsman Program authority is limited to assisting with problems or concerns directly related to the OFLC’s administration of the H-2A Program.
If you have tried the Chicago NPC helpdesk service option but still need help resolving a problem with an H-2A application or agricultural job order, you can ask the H-2A Ombudsman’s Program for help by submitting an inquiry or request using one of the following options:
Electronic Mail (recommended)
H2A.Ombudsman@dol.gov provides a direct, paperless submission of requests for assistance to the H-2A Ombudsman Program.
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Employment and Training Administration
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room C-4312
Washington, DC 20210
Attn: H-2A Ombudsman
Important Note: When contacting the H-2A Ombudsman Program for help, please make sure to include your H-2A Case Number and include copies of important documentation or other paperwork you submitted to or received from the Chicago NPC. Please do not send original documents. If you are inquiring about an agricultural job order, please make sure to include the Job Registry Record ID, which is available on the iCERT System’s public job registry.
Once we receive a request for help, we will:
- Review the information you submitted to make sure that we are able to help with your situation.
- Promptly provide you with a courtesy e-mail, letter, or other correspondence acknowledging receipt of your submitted inquiry or concern.
- Research the underlying facts of the inquiry or status of your H-2A application.
- If we can provide assistance, contact the Chicago NPC on your behalf with independent recommendations on how to resolve the inquiry; and
- If we cannot provide assistance, we will endeavor to direct your inquiry to the most appropriate Federal agency or office or other resources available to you.
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