H1B Minimum Wage Requirements

H1B minimum requirements

What are the current H1B minimum wage requirements?

The H1B minimum wage requirements in terms of cost are currently close to $60,000. This means that to qualify for an H1B visa, the company has to pay the eligible and qualified worker a minimum salary of $60,000 on an annual basis. If the company is paying the worker on an hourly basis, the total income should add up to $60,000 per year. This is irrespective of whether it is a full-time or a part-time job. 

How are the H1B minimum wage requirements determined?

The H1B Minimum salary, as you can guess, is not something everyone can aspire to. There are certain rules and regulations about obtaining an H1B Visa. The H1B minimum wage requirements or the wage level is one of the important factors taken into consideration during the application of the visa. The applicant has to qualify for this requirement to be able to qualify for the H1b visa itself.  

This wage requirement is determined by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). This, along with a variety of state-local laws, including the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or the collective union contract. It is a written contract between the employers and the union consisting of the employees. This contract also includes the various wages for different jobs and professions. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Labor work together to validate and issue employment-based visas. Their main aim is to eradicate exploitation through cheap labor practices. To do this, they have come up with the policy that every job has to undergo the LCA (Labor Condition Application) test. One of the key implications of doing an LCA test is to make sure that the job qualifies under the minimum wage program. The employee is paid what he or she deserves based on his skills and labor.

What is an LCA? Is the wage requirement applicable to someone who is subject to the LCA in an H1B Petition? 

LCA or the Labor Condition Application is an application form that is filed by a sponsoring employer on behalf of an employee that is about to immigrate to the US. They need to file it with the US Department of Labor as a first step to the H1B filing process. This is a mandatory step, without which the employer cannot file an I-129 application. The I-129 form is a Petition for a nonimmigrant worker. 

If you are subject to Labor Condition Application, you need to make sure that your job pays you the H1B minimum wage. The wage must be the H1B prevailing wage in your area or the place where you live. You can check the prevailing wage or the minimum wage by clicking on this link.  

H1B Visa

How can you determine the minimum salary if you are an H1B LCA?

The whole purpose of implementing the minimum wage level or the prevailing wage for the people who are part of the H1B Visa is to safeguard their rights. It is also to be amply paid for their hard work. They are skilled workers and must be protected from unlawful cheap labor practices. If you are a H1B LCA and you want to determine the minimum salary, here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, go to the website for Foreign Labor Certification Data Center
  1. On the homepage of the website, you will see the ‘Online wage category’ under which there is an ‘FLC wage search wizard’ option.
  1. Once you click on the ‘FLC wage search wizard’, the page will validate and you will be redirected to a page where you need to select a ‘State/ Territory’ by clicking on the drop down option. Click on ‘continue’.
  1. Enter the details as asked for. Enter the job details and the specific industry you are looking for. If you are not sure of which industry your job comes under, you can just choose ‘all industries’. Click on the ‘search’ button to run the result. This will let you know the H1B Minimum Salary.

    You can also look for a job by entering the keywords or a phrase in the input box or select an occupation from the list of jobs from the drop-down option. 
  1. Once you are done with the above step, you will get the list of wages. You will receive your wage level based in various areas. In order for you to get the accurate result, you need to have all the information about the job you are applying for, including what kind of position it is (the name of the position).

What is Foreign Labor Certification Data Center?

Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (or the FLC data center) is the online wage library for determining the existing or prevailing wages of various fields of work in different areas. It is a useful portal for the H1B workers. They can search for their minimum salary based on their geographical location. The FLC data center is divided into 3 sections

1st Section

The first is the ‘online wage library’ under which there are few subsectional links like FLC wage search wizard, FLC wage quick search, SCA search, download data files. All these links serve the purpose of providing better search results of the wage level based on the type of search. Through the ‘download data file option,’ you have the option to download the files that you need.

2nd Section

The next section is the disclosure data section. This section provides all the program disclosure data released by Foreign Labor Certification Data Center. It releases data pertaining to Permanent, H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B programs. 

3rd Section

The third section is for the news and other updates related to the wage data. It also provides guides on how to search for various jobs using the keywords adequately. It also includes FLCData Center frequently asked questions (FAQs). These questions address a few queries related to the usage of the portal. Some troubleshooting techniques to get accurate search results and much more. 

What is the final rule (Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions) as determined by the Department of Homeland Security?

The H1B cap is the limit placed on the number of non-immigrant or foreign workers who are authorized to work in the United States every year. This is why it is difficult to try for H1b Immigration. The Department of Homeland Security has come up with the new rule. The title is ‘Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions’. According to this rule, they are planning to remove the existing selection method of the H1B petitioners through ‘random lottery process. They intend to replace it with a ‘salary-based ranking system’. Focusing on selecting the applicants that come under level 4 prevailing wages and then level 3, 2, and 1 respectively. (the next subsection of this article has a quick overview of the four types of prevailing wage levels).

D-Day is in 2022

This H1B cap rule will be implemented from Fiscal Year 2022. In fact, the ‘salary-based ranking system’ does not impact how the H1B petitioners will be selected. This means that there will be no differentiation between the regular H1B cap and the ones holding a master’s degree. It will first take place for applicants who come under the regular H1B cap. Then for the H1B advanced degree holders who come under the Master’s cap exemption.  

A new process has been put in place. The Regular process involves petitioners filing a complete H1B petition in the first week of April. They are now filing for their H1B cap beneficiaries online since last year which requires a fee of USD 10 per employee (mid-2020). 

H1b Wages

Does this proposed rule have an effect on the H1b program?

Well, the answer to this is ‘yes’. This will have a major effect on the H1B program as a whole. The employers who pay a bigger salary or the upper end of the prevailing wage, have the chance of being selected. However, this will impact them financially because they will have to pay their employees even more. This new rule of ‘Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions’ will also reduce their chances of hiring recent graduates or internees. These applicants come under the lower side of the prevailing wage. Which in turn means that the employees with lower salary levels will have minimized opportunities. Especially when it comes to working in the United States. 

What are the different H1B minimum wage requirements, and who comes under them?

Various wage levels determined by the Department of Labor under the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program:

Wage level 1: This H1B wage level includes the ‘entry level’ workers with a basic understanding of the job and no work experience as such. 

Wage level 2: This includes ‘qualified’ H1B workers with education and relevant experience. The workers in this category can perform their job averagely and require supervision. 

Wage level 3: The ‘experienced’ workers or employees fall under this category. They have both experience and education and can perform their jobs with minimum supervision. Their job may also need to manage people and make decisions.  

Wage level 4: This category includes the ‘fully competent’ employees who are at an expert level when it comes to job-related skills. They are involved in decision-making and carry out management responsibilities. The H1B Prevailing wage for these employees is quite huge.

Are there any exceptions to these minimum wage requirements rules ?

There are certain exceptions to this minimum wage requirement rule as per the Federal law of the United States. Disabled individuals, tipped employees, student learners. Even Internees or apprentices, employees who are under 20 years of age during the first 90 days of their employment. Messengers are exempted from the ‘H1B minimum wage requirement rules’. 

Who makes the rules on the H1B Minimum wage requirements anyway?

The purpose of the H1B minimum wage requirements and the prevailing wage level is set by the Department of Labor. It is to safeguard the interests of the workers. Compensating them for a fair and unbiased amount for their hard work. This is so that they do not become a victim of the cheap labor practices. The new proposal put forth by The Department of Homeland Security asks to make amendments to the existing H1B cap program. It may have some adverse impact on the employers as well as the workers.

When it comes to the employers, the ones who are paying their workers Higher level wages will have a higher probability of being selected. This will require the employer to pay significantly higher salaries. This is to meet the prevailing wage level, or they may lose their workers to their competitors. As far as the employees or the workers are concerned, even the ones who come under the H1B wage level 4 will have a greater opportunity to be selected for an H1B visa. The chances of being selected for the workers at the entry-level or level 2 will see a significant reduction. So before your plan to visit the western hemisphere, figure out the H1B minimum Wage Requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

What is the minimum wage requirement for obtaining an H1B visa? 

 The minimum wage requirement for obtaining the H1B visa is USD 60000. To file for the H1B, the employer has to either pay the worker a minimum annual salary of $60000 or if they are paying the workers on an hourly basis, the total hourly rate must add up to $60000 per year.

Are there any exemptions to the H1B cap?

Nonprofit bodies like universities, nonprofit research organizations, and government research organizations are exempted from the H1B cap. These employers can file an H1B to the USCIS any time during the year and do not have to follow the fiscal year rule. 

Who can be paid less than minimum wage? 

Certain categories of workers who can be paid less than the minimum wage are vocational education students, and full-time students working in sectors like retail, service, agriculture, or higher education. 

What is ‘prevailing wage’? 

Prevailing wage is the average wage that is paid to people of similar professions. The prevailing wage is area-specific and varies between different geographical areas. 

What factors determine the ‘prevailing wage’?

The various factors that determine the prevailing wage are the nature of the job, the various responsibilities the job entails, and location or the area where the job is. 

What is the processing time for LCA?

It may take up to 7 days or less processing time for Labor Condition Application (LCA) depending on each case.

Does LCA have a filing fee?

No, LCA does not have a cost involved. 

What is Foreign Labor Certification Data Center? What is it used for?

Foreign Labor Certification Data Center or FL Certification Data Center is the online wage library used to determine the prevailing wages in various geographic areas. If you want to know more details on Foreign Labor Certification Data Center you can read the previous sections of this article on the same. 

Leave a Comment