H1B minimum wage or LCA prevailing wage for a position in an area in USA?

by Kumar · 125 comments

One of the biggest things of concern when you apply for Labor Condition Application ( LCA ) or apply for H1B visa in a particular area is the minimum wage or prevailing wage in that area. It is very important and many H1B visa holders or students willing to get a new H1B visa look for this information.  You have to make sure you are not working below the minimum or prevailing wage in that geographic location for your particular position. This website for Foreign Labor Certification Data Center maintains the information for prevailing wage and is pretty standard to get a baseline of prevailing wage.  The website is reliable as it is built and maintained by the State of Utah under contract with the US Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification.  Here are screenshots of how to look for prevailing wage.

Just go to the homepage of Foreign Labor Certification Data Center and select the search wizard.

First_step

Select the options of All categories , Area or City you live in  and Job title  you are looking for

Step_3

Once you are done, finally it shows the wage. It looks something like this : Make sure your LCA is at least above the wage specified here. It is kind of a baseline.

Final_step


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{ 125 comments… read them below or add one }

Venkat annadi April 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

Hi Sourabh,

I am right now at offshore with an H1 petition with prevailing wage rate as 99,000( Which was wrongly filed) USD with a Client A from an employer.Now my employer is filing an Amendment with changes in the Prewailing wage rate as 65,000 USD with a new Clinet B and a new Location on premium basis.As part of filing we have applied for a new LCA at new location for client B.Just want to check if that is going to be accepted by USCIS without any RFE.I have never travelled with the original petition.

Thanks,
Venkat

Reply

Saurabh April 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

Venkat annadi,
It should be fine. RFE can be issued for various reasons, and one cannot guarantee RFE-proof petition.

Reply

Venkat Annadi April 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Hi Saurabh,

Thank You for your reply. My concern was whether it would be approved or straight away rejected.In addition , do we have to go for VISA again if it is approved.

Thanks in Advance.

Thanks,
Venkat

Reply

Saurabh April 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Venkat,
It will not be rejected directly. They will issue RFE first followed by RFE response and then approval or denial. You will have to go for visa stamping if the previous visa stamp has expired. Else, you can go with current visa stamp and new approved petition.

Reply

duggar234 April 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

Hi,

I have filed H1B extension on March 28th, the expiry of current H1 is May 4th. If say, extension gets approved by Aug 2014, do the company will pay salary according the current LCA or they needs to pay according to new LCA.

Thanks

Reply

Saurabh April 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

duggar234,
They will have to honor new LCA once the H-1 extension has been approved. Until then they have to honor the old LCA. You can still talk to your employer about the wage increase (as per law LCA dictates the minimum salary but there is no ceiling to how high it can be).

Reply

gudi March 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi, I graduated with Bachelor’s in Psychology and I found a company that wants to sponsor me for a Social Worker position in MO.
Is there any other way of getting the prevailing wage information? The numbers on the website are too high, and the employer is not going to sponsor me, because they do not want to pay according to the rates on that website.
Can you gather information from other companies in the area with similar positions and their rates and use that for Prevailing wage info?

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tx_india October 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Hi ,

I have been working for an Indian outsourcing company for 11 years in IT field. An H1B visa was applied for me in 2010 and LCA had wages approximately 64,000$. I guess that wage was good enough at that time as per minimum wage requirement. But by 2011 or 2013 the minimum wage has changed in the location where I was working. And employer still paid me the old wage mentioned in the LCA. The minimum wage requirements has 3 levels of wage categories (Level 1 Level 2 Level3). Even after 10+ years of experience experience decided to pay me the minimum of the wages. I believe I was eligible for Level 2 or Level 3 wages. Do I have some ground to question the companies decision to pay me level 1 wages ( as per old LCA) ?

I have resigned last month and the company is penalizing me by refusing to offer a experience letter, trying to cut my gratuity in India , and the leave encashment benefits as penalty for resigning from USA. I have served till the last day of H1B visa validity and also served 2 weeks of notice before leaving.

Please let me know.

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Poonam October 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Any idea what is the minimum wage for a software engineer to be hired on H1B?

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CD October 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

It varies. Depends on the location and might be few other factors.

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SUMANTH DACHIRAJU September 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

My employer is moving me to another location of worksite with same Client from location A to B. My wage level in LCA is level 2 at location A. Now employer is applying for H1-B amendment to B location and trying to change wage level to 1. the job duties remain same. Employer is trying to reduce the level just to decrease the salary.
Will USCIS accepts for this change and approve the amendment? If they deny what are the next steps to be taken?

Reply

SmallCompanyEmployee September 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Hello,

I recently got hired by a company i had hard time finding job. it pays me 42,500/annul no over time nothing. i just check out on the mentioned website it should be close to 53000/annul. what should i do now? Am i not eligible for filing H1 by my employer?

I recently cam across a job opportunity. which pay me 45,000/annul. also said i will be working overtime sometimes and said it will add upto minimum level for filing H1 Visa.

I am thinking to improve my wage in my current employer or else i have to change the firm.

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Shashank August 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Hi,

If some is getting Annual salary on H1-B same as Minimum Wage at Particular Level and after some time DOL in US increased the minimum wages but that person is still getting that old salary and his LCA is certified till 2015. now suppose H1-B EXtension is going to be filed then is it possible that they will again file a new LCA with new minimum Wages with H1-B Extension and that person now can get his salary updated .

Reply

Saurabh August 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Shashank,
Yes, when the new LCA is filed for H-1 extension, they will have to use the new minimum wage available at that time.

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VisaWorries August 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hi Saurabh,

I have a couple of questions which I am hoping you can help me with:
i) My LCA shows salary equal to the prevailing wage but than includes about $3600 in annual bonuses. I am planning to go for visa stamping and I want to be prepared for that.
ii) I work for a mid-sized engineering firm and it contributes 8% of annual salary split equally between 401k and pension funds. Are these employer contributions also considered as salaries.

In summary,
LCA shows : X / annum
Prevailing wage : X / annum
Actual pay stubs (@ base rate): X – $3600
Bonuses (3 separate pay stubs) : $3600
Additional employer contributions: 0.08X

Am I good to go for visa stamping?

Thank you.

Reply

Saurabh August 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

VisaWorries,
Employer contributions are not considered part of LCA. However, if employer pays you 1000 bucks and you put 8% of it in 401k, then it is part of LCA salary equivalent. But if they do a 401k match and put 8% on their own, then its not part of the equivalent.

Also, if the annual bonus is not tied to any performance i.e. you will always get that amount, then it should be fine. Still get the clarification from your attorney.

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VisaWorries August 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

Thanks Saurabh. The bonus is partially dependent on company’s performance but I can get the offer letter from the HR saying that at least $3600 in bonus is guaranteed. The bonus is likely to exceed $3750 this year. The attorney said that the bonus is classified as production bonus which OES includes in definition of wages.

Is it also correct that that the wages on the LCA are the wages that I should be getting paid once the H1b status becomes effective? I am on OPT till 1st October and for the next financial year, I expect to earn at least $3000 more than the prevailing wage in base salary and bonus i.e. Oct-13 to Oct-14. Based on my research, the amount paid during OPT doesn’t have to meet prevailing or LCA wages.

Reply

Saurabh August 18, 2013 at 2:51 am

VisaWorries,
Your H-1 salary should at least be the LCA amount. So if LCA salary is 60K, then your salary should be 60K or more. OPT salary doesn’t have any LCA requirements.

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neerav July 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Hi Saurabh,

My employer has filed for my H1b extension with USCIS. In parallel, I am on my I485 stage where I am waiting for my priority date to become current to get a GC. The current priority date as per Visa Bulletin from August 2013 is Jan 2008. If my priority date becomes current before my H1b is approved, is my employer still obligated to pay me the minimum salary mentioned in the LCA filed along with my H1b extension application?

Thanks
Neerav

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neerav July 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Just to add some more specific information:
My current H1b expires on 1st Aug. My extension renewal application has start date of 2nd Aug. Also, my Priority Date is 15th Aug 2008. My extension application was submitted on 17th June. So according to USCIS’s processing timeline, it should take upto 2 months (17th Aug) for USCIS to approve my H1b extension.
Supposedly Visa bulletin for Sept 2013 will be announced around 10th Aug.
Now I am thinking what if on 10th Aug USCIS announces that my PD will be current in Sept 2013.
My H1b approval might be delayed due to some reason and doesn’t come in time.
But my current visa expires on 8/1. So will my new salary be effective 8/2 even if H1b extension approval doesn’t come before GC?
Should I go for premium processing and pay $1225 so that I can get my salary raise (about $12k)?

Reply

Saurabh July 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Neerav,
When the date becomes current, your I-485 will be filed. This will first issue the EAD followed by actual AOS. As long as your status is H-1, you need to get paid as per the LCA. This means, they need to pay at least the LCA amount but can easily more than that.

If you start working on EAD or AOS gets approved, then you are no longer bound by the LCA salary.

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neerav July 26, 2013 at 1:07 am

I already have EAD from last year before the dates retrogressed but I am still working as an H1b.
Now my H1b expires on 1st Aug and extension petition is supposed to start from 2nd Aug.
In any case, even if my Aug 2008 PD date becomes current in Sept Visa Bulletin, my GC will come only in September. Correct? In that case, because I was on H1b status from 2nd Aug onwards, they need to change my salary to match the prevailing wage on the LCA. Right?

Reply

Saurabh July 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Neerav,
Yes, until your status is H-1, they need to respect the LCA wages.

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Neerav August 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Yes, that is what they did. Changed salary from 8/1.

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krish July 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hi Surabh,

I have a question on LCA.
My initial LCA was for Florida valid till sept 2014, however another LCA was posted as i had to work from RI.
Can i go back to florida with my older valid lca ? or do i need to change anything.

Reply

Saurabh July 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

Krish,
If the old LCA is still valid and you have H-1 approved for that LCA, then you can join back in FL. Your attorney should be able to confirm this as they need to handle all LCA related stuff.

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kush July 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Hi ,

Can you let me know what is the LCA for programmer analyst in Illinios. I am B.E computer science and having 6.5 years of IT workx. My employer gave me LCA of 60 K only last time. They are going to file my extension how can i get my wages higher this time? Is it possible to get the same LCA this year too for 60K or the LCA will be revised for this year .

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Leo Adamya June 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Hello Experts,

Say, Mr. A is earning 58K USD annually in H1B (January 2012). Later, the minimum LCA wage increased to 78K.
Questions:
1. Being in same location, is there any chance to increase the LCA?
2. If there is some 1-2% yearly increment, will that make the LCA updated?
3. Will correcting spelling of Mr. A’s name will make changes in LCA, resulting raise in wage as per previously stated increased LCA?

Thanks in advance.

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SUMANTH DACHIRAJU June 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

Leo,

1)LCA is valid for 3 years once it is ceritfied. You check the dates on LCA. But DOL updates new prevailing wages every year
2)As LCA is valid for 3 years there is no need for employer to change LCA every year. You should talk to your employer for increament in your wage.
3)No, LCA will not have name on it. It has only your work location, client, your designation, wage details etc. Even in your H1b petiton name will be correct because it will be as per the passport. If you have to correct spelling then you should change your passport too.

Normally prevailing wage donot have so much increase in wage from 58k to 78k. It depends on skill level too. Please check the skill level on LCA with 58K and skill level on 78K.

Sumanth

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sumanth May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

Hi experts,

I need a clarification regarding the LCA. The employer has filed an LCA with an actual wage which is higher than prevailing wage in december 2012. Can the employer again apply an LCA for the same employee to reduce the actual wage and make it equal to prevailing wage? kindly repond to this thank you!

regards
sumanth

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CD May 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Yeah. It is possible if the LCA is for a different location.

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Sumanth May 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

CD thank you. But is it possible to apply for sane location just to reduce the salary

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Saurabh May 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Sumanth,
LCA mentions the minimum salary one needs to be paid for a specific role in a specific location. They cannot reduce the LCA salary if it breaks this requirement.

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SUMANTH May 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

THANKS SOURABH
MY QUESTION IS

REQUIRED WAGE =100

PREVAILING WAGE =50

CAN THE EMPLOYER APPLY FOR NEW LCA WITH REQUIRED WAGE =75??

PLEASE SUGGEST.

Reply

Saurabh May 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Sumanth,
If the prevailing wage is 50, then they are required to pay you a salary at least that amount. They can pay you 75 or 100, its all legal.

BTW, give the CAPS key a break.

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SUMANTH May 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Saurabh,

But as per the LCA column H. Important note 1.
they have to pay the employee atleast prevailing wage or actual wage, whichever is higher. So here 75 is higher. I belevive they should not pay any amount less than 75.
or tell me wheather they can pay any amount higher than 50??

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SUMANTH May 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Saurabh, Please ignore the previouspost

But as per the LCA column H. Important note 1.
they have to pay the employee atleast prevailing wage or actual wage, whichever is higher. So here 100 is higher. I belevive they should not pay any amount less than 100.
or tell me wheather they can pay any amount higher than 50?? or in between 100 and 50

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Saurabh May 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Sumanth,
The actual wage is what company has as per their policy. Lets say your role is Senior Developer. The prevailing wage for that role is 50K USD, while the company pays 100K USD to all people in that role. If the company then decides to reduce their salary to 75K USD for all developers, then it is fine as it is still above 50K.

However, they cannot chose to decrease just your salary and not others’ who are in the same role. This would mean company is hiring cheap labor which is what LCA is prohibiting.

Does that clarify?

sumanth May 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Yes you are right but company should file a new lca for changing actual wage. Because dol should have the record of the wages of all employees of the company. and also employer has to show dol how he decides the actual pay of an employee. Employee can increase the salary without any lca but if he decides to decrease he has to have a certified LCA.

Saurabh May 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Sumanth,
I am not sure if new LCA needs to be filed or not. Let’s say they would have revised your salary upwards to 110K. They wouldn’t have filed a new LCA in that case. As long as they are not going below the minimum wage and not underpaying you as compared to other employees, it should be fine.

You can check w/ a labor attorney for more information.

rahul May 9, 2013 at 1:25 am

Hi Saurabh,

I work for a large Networking company in the Bay Area. My 6 years of H1b are done. But because my company has filed for my I485, they can renew my H1b. A few days back, I was promoted. So technically, my title should be Senior Software Engineer. But my company writes everyone as Software Engineer at various grade levels. Even though internally in job postions, we claim my grade to be Senior Software Engineer. Last time around in 2010, my company had to renew my H1b at wage level II. Will they have to file this time at wage level III because of my promotion?
How can I ensure that they file it at wage level III and I am able to get prevailing wages at that level?

Reply

Saurabh May 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Rahul,
In the LCA they should use the correct wage level as per your current role and job description. Then they should pay you the salary as per that LCA amount. If you are already getting more than that amount, then no salary revision is mandatory. If not, they will have to pay you more.

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rahul May 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

So will that be Level III?

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rahul May 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

By the way, thanks for the reply! :)

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Saurabh May 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Rahul,
Yes, it should be level III in the LCA or whatever the equivalent is.

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rahul May 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Hi Saurabh,

My company has the following grade levels:
1. Software Engineer I – They offer this to new hires who have joined right after doing their undergrads
2. Software Engineer I I (Grade 6) – Is typically offered to candidates who have some years of experience over #1 or who have a Master’s degree
3. Software Engineer III (Grade 8) – Is typically offered to candidates who have some years of experience over #2 or who have a PhD
4. Software Engineer IV (Grade 10) – Is typically offered to candidates who have some years of experience over #3
5. Technical Leader I (Grade 11)
6. Technical Leader II (Grade 12)

When we post job postings on our career website, we say that it is for “Senior Software Engineer”. But it really is for #4 (Software Engineer IV (Grade 10)).

Now since I am Software Engineer IV (Grade 10), does that mean I am a “Senior Software Engineer”? And hence be qualified for Wage Level III.

I am sorry I am repeating my question, but my friends and I were talking about this yesterday and seemed that there was some confusion if we qualified for Level III wages. Because on our internal pages, our title is just “Software Engineer IV”….

Reply

Saurabh May 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Rahul,
It is common that company’s internal role names don’t directly correspond to what’s out there in DOL categories.

Let me ask a different question. Do you have non-H-1 holders in your company? If yes, then do you know the salary range they are paid when their title is SSE?

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rahul May 21, 2013 at 12:11 am

Hi Saurabh,

For sure we have non-H1 holders in our company. But its very hard to know what they make. I do know what a few of H1b holders make (and most of them make close to what I do and they too need to apply for H1b extension next year). But I remember seeing once, the range was approximately 100k – 145k/155k. And from the FLC website, this is the job that I correspond to:
http://www.flcdatacenter.com/OesQuickResults.aspx?code=15-1133&area=41940&year=13&source=1

Rahul

Saurabh May 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Rahul,
At this point, I will defer you to take it up w/ a labor attorney. As you are working for a large US company, I doubt if they will cut corners here, and they tend to have very professional lawyers. Maybe you can ask them about the LCA’s prevailing wages.

rahul July 19, 2013 at 2:27 am

Thanks for the reply Saurabh.
Just to provide a closure on this and for anyone who needs this information in future, I received a copy of my LCA and it has the minimum wage at Wage Level III. Seems like my title/position was eligible for it.
Even though I haven’t received a formal communication from my management, but I can see it in my LCA.

Thanks for your help!

Saurabh July 24, 2013 at 12:47 am

Rahul,
Congrats! Glad it all worked out for you.

Mani January 31, 2013 at 12:32 am

Hi experts,

Need your help to suggest me how to proceed on my case. My H1B got approved for the client x in my company for the year 2013 and I am waiting for the PA date. I am still in india. my current project dont have onsite oppurtunity for me. I checked with few more project in my company but they said I cannot travel to all the location because I got promotion recently. they are not filing the LCA for the location which I am not eligible for. there are no projects in the list of locations my company gave and I dont know what to do with H1b. my question is..

can I apply for some other company in india and move to US with the same H1b?

is it possible to travel for the same project I work ( I have another oppurtunity as well) and get transferred from that location to some other location ( even the location which I am not eligible to travel with promotion )

Reply

Saurabh January 31, 2013 at 1:08 am

Mani,
Yes, you can do that. Another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you. Once approved, you can appear for stamping through that employer and finally travel to US.

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Mani January 31, 2013 at 1:36 am

Thank you for your quick reply. Appreciated it. In that case, Do I still have to go for PA with my current employer and then look for another H1b employer? because the current PA date is March 1st. so I have to wait 1 month for that and then apply for some other companies

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Saurabh January 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Mani,
You can go for stamping through current employer. Meanwhile continue to look for another employer. Even if the new petition is under process, you can still appear for stamping through old employer.

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Terence January 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Hi Saurabh,
I know you don’t want us asking questions here, but I would be obliged if you could confirm something for me.
I am currently being paid less than the Level I wage in my area, and my company is planning to apply for an H-1B for me. Will they have to increase my pay to at least Level I in order for the application to go through? Or can they continue to pay me the same wage, given that everyone else at the company is also given the same wage?

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Saurabh January 23, 2013 at 12:40 am

Terence,
They will have to first file the LCA which will mention the role based on what you will be doing. It will also mention the minimum wage for that role in that area. Once H-1 gets approved, they are required to pay at least that salary. If the employer wants, they can pay you more than that as well, but cannot pay less than it.

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hamid u January 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm

hi Saurabh,

i am currently in US on H1B visa ..

my employer filed my original LCA at wage level III at the time of filing the H1B visa ..

after some time, i relocated to a new location abut this time, my same employer filed a new LCA at wage level II for the exactly same role and job duties ..

can my employer reduce my wage level by filing new LCA at lower wage level?

regards,
hamid

Reply

Saurabh January 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Hamid,
Yes, this can be done. If the employer determines that your new role will be a lower one, then they can reduce the role. However, if they make you do the work for Level III but file LCA for Level II to reduce the salary (if the new location has higher wages), then that’s not correct.

I suggest talking to your employer about it. It is also possible that they just reduce the LCA amount, but continue to pay you the same salary as offered before.

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hamid January 22, 2013 at 12:28 am

saurabh,

many thanks for your response ..

i am doing work for wage level III .. but my employer reduced my wage when they filed my new LCA ..

i’ll check with my employer ..

regards,
hamid

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phil January 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Hi Saurabh,
I am on F-1 and currently working on a 6 month project on OPT(ending in June 2013). My project end date is april 5 2013 and my employer is planning to file H1B, so can we file LCA for the same project and then apply H1B as a premium processing on April 1st for the same project. Do you think is it possible and is there any issues related to it.
I really appreciate your help

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Saurabh January 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Phil,
Yes, they can do that. You can continue to work on cap-gap until Oct 1, and on H-1 thereafter.

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LCA December 28, 2012 at 2:48 am

Hi Saurabh,

My LCA was filed on April 2012 which falls between 7/2011 – 6/2012. At that time Minimum wage was 30 dollars/hr. Now for period 7/2012 – 6/2013 the minimum wage got changed to 32 dollars/hr for the same role. I will be traveling to US in 7/2012 – 6/2013 period. So which wage will be paid my company 30 or 32 dollars?

Thanks

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Saurabh December 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

LCA,
They are required to pay as per the certified LCA. If they want to pay as $32, they can do that; but they are obliged to pay only what’s mentioned in the current LCA.

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Ashraf December 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I need your help. I need to complete my DS160 form and need to fill the salary offered by employer. I have signed Employer employee participant letter where salary offered to me is $55K. Though, in my LCA and I129, its only $29K. What should I fill in Ds-160.

Regards,
Ashraf

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Saurabh December 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Ashraf,
Use the salary mentioned in the offer letter i.e. $55K.

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Rajesh October 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

Currently i am in H4 visa.I have 2 years of experience in Software industry.Ho to find a sponsor for work visa here.Please guide me

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Anu September 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Hi,

My LCA was expired on Jan 2012, but still I am getting the salary based on that LCA. Do I need to ask my employer for filing new LCA?

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suraj August 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Thanks good info provided here!!
wages also varies as per the job roles like average salary of
Computer Systems Analysts $82,320
Computer Programmers $76,010

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Venu August 8, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hi Saurabh,
I have Valid H1B Visa with the role a functional tester and now that i got new development project and the location and client is also different.Can my Employer file a new LCA with new role,client and location or
Will the USCIS question that how tester role can be changed to developer role.
Thanks for your help in advance

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Saurabh September 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Venu,
A new LCA needs to be filed for the new role and location. Subsequent to this, the employer should also file H-1 amendment for the new LCA. Yes, USCIS can raise that question but as long as you have necessary experience to show that you qualify for the new role, it should be fine.

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Kumar August 5, 2012 at 4:21 am

Currently my employer provide the status as LCA relocation posting can’t be done for FL, Oldsmar as Computer professionals relavant to Software Quality Assurance Engineer not eligitble. But at the initial LCA petition my role mentioned as Software Quality Assurance Engineer. When I am doing relocation LCA posting, based on the current prevailing wages this role not eligible to travel for the above said location. Can we do role change in the relocation LCA? Is it possible? or some thing unlawful. Please confirm.

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Saurabh August 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Kumar,
You can do the role change, but you need to be qualified for the new role. This is where lot of employer concern is. Once the LCA has been modified, employer will have to file H-1 amendment and USCIS will review the new role to verify whether you really qualify for it or not.

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Sandeep August 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I have a question…
My employer filed a common LCA for multiple H-1B workers (including me) under general engineers instead of specialty engineer under which am recognized as. Seems like according to this article’s survey my PW should be more than what my employer filed in LCA. My H-1B has already been applied based on this LCA .

My question is whether I can raise this point with my employer and ask to make changes/ amend my LCA according to my specialty occupation (which will increase PW in LCA).

Please Advice..

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Saurabh August 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Sandeep,
Once the current petition is approved, they can file new LCA for the new title followed by H-1 amendment.

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Sid June 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Hi Saurabh

I have a question, my LCA was prepared in Jan 2012 and at that time i was Analyst.
So in my LCA my Job title is ANALYST and occupation title is COMPUTER SYSTEM ANALYST.

I got the communication in Feb2012 that i got propoted to Technology LEad and change is effective from October 2011.

But i am still getting the salary according to old LCA, can in this case my company file a new LCA for me (there is no change in US working Location and client).
Also will they give me arrear for all this time when they did not pay me as per Technology Lead’s salary.

This is very urgent for me to know so please respond ASAP.

Thanks
Sid

Reply

Saurabh July 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Sid,
If you are doing the duties of a Lead, then you should get paid as per that job title. If the salary is higher or equal to minimum salary offered for Lead in your area, and if job duties have not changed more than 50% then you can use the same LCA; else go for a new LCA. Check w/ attorney also about it.

Reply

Trisha June 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hi,

USCIS has returned back my application saying that “LCA signature in Page is missing”(LCA is not certified). My employer told that he will explain it to USCIS and send another LCA application by tomorrow. Please clarify whether USCIS will accept this and consider

Note: As the cap got over,this explanation will be considered within that cap or it will get rejected?

Your help/clarification is much appreciated. Please reply.

Reply

Anil June 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

First step towards h1b is a certified LCA, wondering how it is possible to apply w/o certified LCA.

Reply

aditi June 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

Hello :
Our employee moved to other floor of the same office building and we have the approved lca for the same however we want to ammend the same approved / certified lca with lower wages.
Need suggestions

Appreciate your help

Reply

Saurabh June 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Aditi,
You can file a new LCA for the new wages and title (even when the location is same). Once certified by DOL you can get the H-1 amended. After approval, you can pay the employee as per the new approved wages. Until the amendment gets approved, you need to pay the employee as per the old LCA and H-1.

Reply

Saurabh June 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Trisha,
Looks like your employer tried to cut corners by submitting the petition w/o LCA. USCIS has rightly rejected and not just issued the RFE. I don’t think you can make through the cap again this year as it was an error on your employer part and not USCIS. You can discuss w/ your attorney about options.

No offense, but I would prefer all petitions filed w/o LCA to be rejected else that might set another precedent for employers to game the system.

Reply

Babita June 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

HI,
My Employer says that they filed LCA last week,would be able to file my H1b before the cap finishes as only 9400 remining as of 1st of june..does filing LCA means H1b? or is there any lottery this time.

Babita

Reply

Saurabh June 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Babita,
No, it doesn’t. After LCA approval, I-129 needs to be filed w/ USCIS and this is what puts you in the cap. As of now, there is no news on lottery.

Reply

Kumar June 10, 2012 at 2:15 am

Hi Saurabh,
I have a question regarding LCA. I was going through the LCA form and found that it does not ask about the personal details of the employee (like Name/exp/dob etc). What it asks is the job description and the salary. So, my question is, is it possible that the employer can have the LCA for a particular job position before deciding on the employee if they know they are going to hire a foreign employee?? And they can file H1 after they select the guy to save some time.

Thanks!!

Reply

Saurabh June 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Kumar,
Yes, that is possible. They can file LCA in advance while they continue to search for prospective employee.

Reply

Kumar June 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Thanks Saurabh for the clarification..

Reply

Jig123 June 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I have a question.

My Employer is paying me regularly monthly (He deposit my salary between 1st to 5th of the every month regularly)
But he generate my pay stubs later…
For example he paid my salary for Mar & Apr 2012 in first five days of the next months like Apr & May 2012 respectively….
But I came to know that he generated my pay stubs on May 14,15,16,17 respectively…
so In my pay stubs I have check date as listed below.

May 14, 2012 for Duration Mar 01 2012 to Mar 15 2012
May 15, 2012 for Duration Mar 16 2012 to Mar 31 2012
May 16, 2012 for Duration Apr 01 2012 to Apr 15 2012
May 17, 2012 for Duration Apr 16 2012 to Apr 30 2012…

I heard different opinions online…

So can you advice me that Is there can be a problem in future ???

I mean to say is that OK or not??

What should bebest thing in order to avoid any problem in future??

Where & when I might be in trouble due to these thing???

Thanks
Jig123

Reply

Saurabh June 6, 2012 at 2:56 am

Jig123,
If the payslips have the dates mentioned, then it should be fine. The best thing would be to get the payslip along w/ the salary.

Reply

Jig123 June 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hi Saurabh,

As i mentioned, there are dates in the pay slips but they are different then what it should be…

Thanks
Jig123

Reply

Saurabh June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Jig123,
These payslips in conjunction w/ bank statements can show that you were getting paid regularly even though the payslips were not generated on time. So I think you should be fine.

When I asked about dates being mentioned, I was referring to the dates for the period for which salary was given out. So does it say “Duration Mar 01 2012 to Mar 15 2012″ on that salary slip?

Reply

Jig123 June 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

Hi Saurabh,

Yes it says duration on my payslips like as listed below.

Check Date: May 14, 2012
Pay Period : Mar 01 2012 to Mar 15 2012
Check Date: May 15, 2012
Pay Period : Mar 16 2012 to Mar 31 2012
Check Date: May 16, 2012
Pay Period : Apr 01 2012 to Apr 15 2012
Check Date: May 17, 2012
Pay Period : Apr 16 2012 to Apr 30 2012…

Here check Date is the date when they generate my pay stubs…

And I am getting paid once in a month.
They deposit my salary into my bank account between 1st and 10th of the every month…

In nutshell,
1) I am getting paid once in a month.
2) My pay period is 1st 15 days of the month & last 15 days of the month.
3) They generate my pay stubs sometimes last 2 or 3 or 4 months together as i gave dates in above example.
4) My bank account shows the amount $xxxx between 1st and 10th of the every month as salary..

Reply

Saurabh June 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Jig123.
It should be fine. On H-1 you need to get regularly paid to remain in status. And you are doing that. It would have been nice to get payslips on time, but as long as you are getting paid regularly, you can explain the set-up to USCIS (if asked).

Reply

Jig123 June 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

OK…
Thanks for the information..

Suraj June 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi Saurabh,
Great site. Lots of good information. I have a question.
Should a company have to pay the wage exactly what is mentioned on the LCA or can they pay less. Lets say on the LCA the wage is mentioned as $80,000. Can the company pay less than that or do they have to at a minimum pay $80,000.

Reply

Saurabh June 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Suraj,
They have to pay a salary >= salary mentioned in the LCA. They cannot pay a salary less than that quoted in the LCA.

Reply

Jig123 May 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I got my H1 B approval a week ago.
How and where can I see my minimum or prevailing wage for my H1 B?

I mean How much minimum I should get paid for?

I have soft copy of my I 129 & LCA so where can I find that out?

Please help in on this.

Thanks in Advance.

Jig…

Reply

Saurabh May 30, 2012 at 12:12 am

Jig123,
It should be mentioned in the accompanying LCA. Your employer can pay you a salary more than that LCA amount.

Reply

Jig123 May 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

Thanks for that.
Actually, all I want to know is that where coz I found different salary at different places like my I129 says 60k per year, where as LCA says from 60k to 70k as well as prevailing wage 47k per year in my LCA.

So, I am little bit confuse on that.

Thanks in Again..
Jig123

Reply

Saurabh May 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Jig123,
What this means is that for your job description, minimum salary set by DOL is 47K, but your employer is willing to pay it in the range of 60-70K. In the end, they decided to pay you 60K (as per I-129). If they issued an offer letter w/ higher salary, then they would pay that higher salary.

Does that clarify?

Reply

Jig123 May 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Yes It is…
Thank you very much for this useful information…

Reply

Maya May 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Hi Kumar
I wanted to know what is the significance of Job title in LCA. My company had provided me with some LCA that had
-Job Title as Analyst and
-Occupation Title of Computer System Analyst
and salary was 60K PA. Same salary and job title is mentined in my petition. It took 1 year for my petition process to get completed, and I got promoted. My over alll exp is more than 5 yrs. So my company gave me new LCA, so that I can get more salary say 75000 PA. But the Job title is Module Lead and Occupation title is same as before Computer Syatem Analyst. Since my Job Title has changed and it is NOT as per my petition, but my occupation Title does mention the Analyst role. What do you recomment that I should carry to my stamping interview.
Will it be an issue to carry the new LCA. Please let me know its urgent.

Job description are as below

Reply

Saurabh May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Maya,
Is your petition approved? If yes, then I suggest the employer should file H-1 amendment for the new LCA. Off late, USCIS and consulate asks for H-1 amendment anytime there is a change in the LCA.

Reply

VirgoAP May 14, 2012 at 12:09 am

Hi Saurabh,

I got approved petition (transfer or exempt case) but it is valid for only year starting from 26th April, 2012 upto 25th April 2013. For further ext I have to follow the same procedure again?

Reply

Saurabh May 14, 2012 at 12:27 am

VirgoAP,
Yes, extension would involve another cap-exempt petition and same process.

Reply

Shivani Gupta April 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hi Kumar,
I am on H4 visa in Florida US.I contacted an Indian IT company for job (50-80 employees in India) which has one office in New Jersey.As i am in Florida,i proposed to work in Florida on minimum wages and requested for an offer letter so that i get my H1 Visa process initiated by some consultant.Employer is worried about tax issues if they open up a new office and hire me in Florida.To be honest i asked them not to give me any salary till next six to eight months and just give me offer letter so that H1 processing can be initiated.Is this possible?As employer is scary of financial and tax burdens on him if he gives me job offer in florida is there any alternative so that company should be comfortable to help me getting an H1 visa.

Thanks in advance,
Shivani

Reply

Saurabh April 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Shivani Gupta,
H-1 can be applied only by the company planning to employ you. So if the “consultant” will be the employer hiring you, then what will be the role of the Indian IT company? Will they act the end client? If this is correct, then the IT company’s concerns are legitimate. They cannot issue a letter for a FL location when they do not have any office there. They can issue a letter for NJ location as they have the office there, but then it implies you will have to work in NJ.

Reply

Shivani Gupta April 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thanks a lot for your reply.
Is it possible to get my H1 visa process initiated if this IT company hires me as a trainee (in New Jersey itself)for six months or one year,with no salary and is ready to give salary after that period.
Regards,
Shivani

Reply

Saurabh April 26, 2012 at 1:11 am

Shivani Gupta,
They cannot hire you w/o pay on H-1. When on H-1, you need to get paid as per the LCA.

Reply

Anand April 24, 2011 at 1:26 am

Dear Kumar,

I just recd by post a letter from mumbai consulate in which it is mention “Based on the interviews & documents submitted at US Consulate mumbai we have returned your petition to USCIS for review & further revocation. If consular offices receives information during the interview process that was not available to the adjudicating immigration officer at the time of petition approval & that shows the beneficiary of a petition is not entitled to accorded status,then the petition must be returned to the USCIS for re-examination due to this requirement ,the consular officer returns your petition & supporting documents to kentucky consular centre”

When i had been for interview the officer gave me yellow 221g slip with 2nd option selected & now i got that above letter

1)I m wondering what it is related to any thing wrong at my side or from my employers end ??
2)Will i get my visa stamped or not ??
3)How long is the whole process & come to a conclusion ??

My employer told me not to fear they will take care once the USCIS approaches them.Almost i have lost 3 mnths as per the 3yrs period mention on my approved petition.

Pls let me have ur kind comments

Thanks

Anand

Reply

Saurabh April 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

1. The consulate has sent the document back to USCIS because they didn’t find everything right w/ the petition. I can’t say what was missing – something in your profile or something in employer’s. What all documents did they ask for when they issued 221g?
2. Right now you cannot. USCIS will evaluate your petition by looking into the comments entered by the visa officer. If the USCIS officer agrees to visa officer’s evaluation, he would deny the petition.
3. It may take few months depending upon the processing delays at the processing center.

Although you lost 3 months on the approved petition, it can be recovered later during extension. The more important thing right now is to have your employer provide all the documents to USCIS (if asked by USCIS).

Reply

Anand April 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Dear Saurabh,

Thks for your kind reply

During 221g yellow slip issue they didn’t mention abut any documents they ask me to refer mumbai consulate website for pending/rejected cases which gets updated every tuesday & friday & to see whether my CEAC barcode comes in .

As u mention something related to my profile or something wrong from my sponsers end which felt them to re-examine my petition back ??

As far my education is concerned i am a diploma holder, but my professional experience is overall 16 yrs in IT i.e 11 yrs overseas & remaining in india that may be the reason as u mention if related to my profile to send my petition back ???

But my sponser gave me assurance that there is no need to panic we will take care when USCIS come to them

I m worried & nervous …

Pls reply

Thanks

Anand

Reply

Saurabh April 26, 2011 at 7:36 am

Did you submit an education evaluation certificate to show how your diploma degree stands against US bachelors degree. However, noticing that you have 16 years of experience, you should be fine on that front.

What all documents did you submit from your employer side? Did you submit any client information?

Reply

Anand April 28, 2011 at 5:53 am

Dear Saurabh,

i submitted last 2 yrs tax returns ,last 2yr wages report , client projects details, notarized employee details i.e current position ,visa details, period info currently working at the client side.

I just got 2 mails from uscis on 25th april first email saying a USCIS office received this case from the State Department with a request that we review it. & 2nd uscis email says we shipped this approved or re-affirmed case to the Department of State for visa processing.

If suppose the USCIS re-affirmed my petition than in that case it will directly send to mumbai consulate for visa processing & finally they will stamp my visa or again i have to attend new interview

Pls let me know .

Rgards

Anand

Reply

Saurabh April 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm

That’s good news. Congrats. I am not sure about the process myself, but my best guess is that it will be sent back the visa officer. However, they don’t have your passport, so I am not sure how that would be coordinated. Call the consulate and ask what the next steps are.

Reply

Anand January 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi,

Thks for ur reply

I mean 2 say legally what value is for offer letter becoz he has mentioned if i leave the job in between i have 2 pay him 25k usd as u know even someone has forged my signatures on offer letter without my knowledge.

Or just i ignore the offer letter once i get new sponser & he does all the filing process
& then when evrything is ok & then send him resignation letter

Thks

Reply

Saurabh January 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Employment is at will in US. So you or your employer can terminate the relationship at any point of time, and the company cannot force you to stay with them for at least some fixed time. So that portion of the letter cannot be enforced. Moreover, your signature was forged on the document. If the situation arises, you can use the same against the company (however, because it may or may not work because you knew about the forgery but didn’t complain about it until later). The company can still recover liquidated damages from you, and the losses need to be proved in the court.

A lot of times, these companies put an arbitrary high number in the letter, just to instil fear amongst the employees. What stands in the court may be completely different.

If I were you, I will be extra cautious w/ this employer. A company who has forged your signature, may do other unethical things in future as well.

Reply

Anand January 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Hi Saurabh,

Thks for ur reply

Is there any importance in the offer letter produced by my sponser

If i go 2 USA & then get better opportunity can i transfer my h1b visa without telling my exisiting sponser, can my existing sponser create any probs as totally visa expenses were beared by me & u know i didn’t get what i expected from my existing sponser they cheated me .

Thks

Reply

Saurabh January 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I am not sure what you mean by importance here? I assume that your pay package and benefit will be what’s given in the offer letter.

You cannot enter US on H-1B w/o your employer’s approval. Once you are here, you can find another employer (or find them while you are in India), and the new employer can initiate the H-1 transfer.

Your current employer will not know about the transfer, and you will not require any documents from them except for pay slips. W2 (if any) and approved 797.

Reply

Anand January 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Hi Kumar,

There was an advertisement in india on one website for IT Recruitment in USA by an IT CONSULTANCY CO USA based .
I approach the company ‘A’ who had put up this advertisement .they said 2 me that
they will file my H1B petition & I have 2 bear visa expenses & assistance charges & once approved & stamped. then they will conduct my interview & give me appointment letter which will have good package .

My petition got approved but it was filed by Company ‘B’ & now i have 2 appear for interview finally for visa stamping my question is i asked company ‘A’ 2 conduct interviews by Company ‘B’ but they didn’t finally i ask for my offer letter & they gave me but i was shock when i read it the package was less much beyond my expectation & designation also not as per my standards.Even my signatures were forged on it without my knowledge .In offer letter there r lots of conditions & one condition says that i have 2 stay with the company ‘B’ till the date on the visa or else if i leave in between will have 2 pay them 25k usd.It is a small company with total 30 employees

Is there a way out 2 get out of this kind of situation as visa expenses were beared by me .

I feel i m cheated .

I thought i will have good saving potential but ??

Thks

Reply

Saurabh January 18, 2011 at 8:29 am

What you have just witnessed is one of the typical H1 recruiting arrangement. A consulting company B appoints a recruiting agency A in India to collect H1 employees for them. A is hardly concerned about you, and are only interested in how many employees they can arrange, and you will stop hearing from them as your H1 gets finalized.

If you believe your signatures are not yours, then company A has committed forgery. If I were you, I would talk to A about it (you never know what else they have forged). You can also get in touch with B and let them know about the whole situation. I doubt if they are already unaware of the entire situation, but that would help you in gauging your real employer B is and how much you can trust them.

Reply

Anand November 28, 2010 at 6:14 am

Hi,

My company is a small which has less than 50 employees & less than 50 % on H1 or L Visas so which documents are reqd from my sponser in USA in order to avoid paying 2000 usd additional as per the new law which was passed on 14th Aug2010

Thks

Reply

Saurabh December 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

I am not sure about this, but my guess is that the employer should submit information on all the employees and their work authorization status (H, L, GC, citizen).

Please consult an attorney for an experienced response.

Reply

Easwaran August 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

Oh my beloved Kumar
greetings
what a wonderful information,. what a dedication, i wonder how u alone is able to do this sort of work, is it passion, or love to serve
rather you are compassionate, please accept my thanks kumar
god bless you
i wish you abundance of peace and bliss
with immense gratitude
easwaran
India

Reply

Kumar August 7, 2010 at 12:26 am

Thanks Easwaran for all the nice words !

Reply

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