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Guide to H1B Prevailing Wages, Wage Levels – Find Minimum Wage?

One of the key things that are important for H1B Visa approval and compliance is to have proper wages paid to the H1B worker. The minimum wage or salary for H1B workers is defined and set by the concept of ‘Wage Levels’. The wage levels for a job depend on some factors like experience, area, SOC Code, and location.

In this article, we review all the details of Wage Levels, how they are determined, and the importance of the same in H1B LCA for approval from USCIS.

Why do we have a minimum wage requirement for H1B LCA?

The reason for having a minimum wage for H1B workers, including the concept of wage levels by experience, is to make sure H1B workers are paid on par with the US workers and not exploited by employers as cheap labor. Also, the employers must provide similar working conditions like their fellow US workers. These requirements are put in place by the US Department of Labor to ensure that foreign workers are not exploited unfairly.

To meet these requirements, H1B employers must submit details such as listed below:

  • The position’s Wage level, which is based on the experience required for the position.
  • The location of the H1B Job
  • The Job title of the H1B Job.

Also, other information about the job is submitted for compliance as part of the Labor Condition Application ( LCA ) to the US Dept of Labor.

Background of Prevailing Wage Levels

The concept of Wage levels was first introduced in October 1997, where they introduced two skill levels:

  1. Level I for beginning-level employees
  2. Level II for fully competent employees.

While only these two levels worked well for some time, there were many issues in determining the wage for management roles and advanced judgment-based skills.

The concept of four wage levels for H1B LCAs was introduced in 2004 under the “H1B Visa Reform Act of 2004”. That’s how the H1B prevailing wage levels came into existence.

Now that you know the background, let’s look at the details.

What are H1B Wage Levels?

H1B Wage Level (or H1B prevailing wage) is the minimum wage a worker earns in a particular area for a particular job with a particular experience. The H1B wage levels are defined so that H1B workers are paid the prevailing wage based on education, experience, and location, similar to US workers.

H1B Wage Levels are defined by the US Department of Labor (DOL). They are based on the prevailing wage data collected under Occupational Employment Statistics(OES) Program, which is based on location, job title, experience, and a few other criteria.

Employers need to fill in the wage level data as part of the H1B LCA as part of the Labor Condition Application Process.

How are H1B Wage Levels defined? How many?

The US Department of Labor has divided the H1B Wage Levels into four, which is based on the OES program. They are named as below:

  • Wage Level I
  • Wage Level II
  • Wage Level II
  • Wage Level IV

Below is how the wage level field looks on an H1B LCA. Employers need to select one of the Wage Levels when they submit the LCA in the US DOL online system.

H1B Wage Levels in LCA - How they look?
H1B Wage Levels in LCA – How they look?

Each of the above wage levels is defined to reflect the experience of an H1B worker and represented as a percentile. If you are not familiar, ‘Percentile’ is not ‘Percentage’. Check Percentile Wikipedia to know more.

Below are the H1B wage levels definitions and their percentiles.

  • H1B Wage Level 1 – Entry: This wage level is for entry level H1B workers with basic understanding of job. This wage level corresponds to 17th Percentile.
  • H1B Wage Level 2 – Qualified: This wage level is for qualified workers with education, experience and who can perform moderate tasks with limited judgment. This wage level corresponds to 34th percentile.
  • H1B Wage Level 3 – Experienced: This wage level is for experienced workers who have deeper experience attained with education and experience. This level work requires judgment and may also manage people. This wage level corresponds to 50th percentile
  • H1B Wage Level 4 – Fully Competent: This wage level the most expert level of workers, who can do complex tasks and can exercise a lot of judgment in their activities. It may include management responsibilities too. This wage level corresponds to 67th percentile.

If we have to summarize in a simple table, it looks like below.

Prevailing Wage LevelH1B LCA Wage Percentile
Wage Level I17th percentile
Wage Level II34th  percentile
Wage Level III50th  percentile
Wage Level IV67th  percentile
Changes to Prevailing Wage Levels for H1B, PERM Programs

Determining H1B Prevailing Wage Levels

The US Department of Labor (DOL)  has official guidance on how the prevailing wage levels are set and what data is used for the same. Read Prevailing Wage Determination Policy Guidance for complete information on the process of setting the wage levels and other key information that is relevant for minimum wage.

Prevailing Wage Requirement for H1B Visa Petition, LCA

It is the H1B employer’s responsibility to make sure the H1B worker is paid on par with the prevailing wage or minimum wage defined for the H1B job position, similar to a US worker working in a similar job. H1B workers cannot be paid below the minimum wage for the position offered in that area. It is based on various factors related to the job position offered like experience, geographic location, and education.

The minimum wage-related information for various job positions is available at  Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website. It is the online wage library for H1B workers to know the minimum wage for a position. The FLCDataCenter website is the official source of prevailing wage information and by the State of Utah under contract with the US Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification

How to check H1B Prevailing Wage Levels for LCA?

We will look at two options to check Prevailing Wage Levels for H1B LCAs, one is at FLCDataCenter.com website and other is at H1BGrader.com website that uses the same official FLCDatacenter.com website data. H1BGrader website has better UI and you can even check history as well.

Check H1B Prevailing Wage Levels for a Job, Location, History

Below is a step by step guide to find the H1B prevailing wage for a position in an area.

Step 1 : Navigate to H1BGrader.com Prevailing Wage Search Page

Step 2 : Enter the Job Title SOC Code and Area Name. You can start typing and you will get suggestions. Select them like below and hit on Search button.

Search on H1BGrader website

Step 3 : You will see the search results of the H1B Prevailing Wage Levels with a base salary that has to be paid to H1B worker for a particular wage level in that area. It looks like below.

H1B Wage Levels - Prevailing Wages Search info on H1BGrader Website
H1B Wage Levels – Prevailing Wages Search info on H1BGrader Website

You can even check the history of prevailing wages for H1B based on wage levels for the last 5 years. For that, you need to go to History of H1B Prevailing Wages and follow the same steps as above. It looks like below.

H1B Wage Levels History 5 years Search
H1B Wage Levels History 5 years Search

Now, let’s look at how you can check the prevailing wage on the official FLCDataCenter website. The UI is not the best.

How to find H1B Wage Levels using FLCDataCenter

Below is the step-by-step guide to find the minimum wage (prevailing wage) for an H1B job position using the FLCDatacenter.com website.

Step 1 – Navigate to FLCDataCenter website, Select Wage Search Wizard : Navigate to website Foreign Labor Certification Data Center and select the search wizard in the middle of the page. See below screenshot. You can also select Quick Search, if you want to directly go to search. The wizard lets you select state and let you go step by step.

FLCData Center Wage Search for H1B LCA
FLCData Center Wage Search for H1B LCA

Step 2 – Select Source, Area, Job Title: In this step you need to select the source, area and job title. As show in the below screenshot, select the options for the Source of the Database for Prevailing wage. If you are not sure, just select all industries.

You will need to select the Area where you will plan to work or your job location and then last option is to select the job title of the position or you can also chose to use the keyword option to enter, if you cannot find the job title. See below screenshot showed what you need to do step by step with numbers.

Select the Occupation from the List or Select based on Area - Keyword
Select the Occupation from the List or Select based on Area – Keyword

Step 3 – View the Details of Wage Levels : Once you select above options and hit search, you will get wage information like below. It will list all the wage levels and the minim wage for that wage level. One of the key things you need to ask your employer or  know is the wage level that is being field for your position. It is critical for your H1B position and approval with DOL and USCIS.   Also, you need to ask the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) code that they plan to use for the position. You will be able to see that info as well.

Wage Levels based Details for a Job Title in an Area
Wage Levels based Details for a Job Title in an Area

Where to find your current Wage Level in H1B LCA ?

You can find your current H1B Wage Level by looking at your H1B Labor Condition Application(LCA). It has all the information related to your H1B position. You can ask your employer to share a copy of the H1B LCA. In fact, they are supposed to share you a copy of your LCA.

To see the wage level info, you need to look at Section F, which tell the information of the Wage Level, Wage offered in that area and the Wage database year. See below screenshot of a Sample Form 9025 (LCA) that is generated by US Department of Labor FLAG system.

H1B Wage Levels Information on an LCA - Where to find it
H1B Wage Levels Information on an LCA – Where to find it

If you know the LCA number, you can search for your LCA online on websites like H1BGrader.com LCA Search, to view the LCA details. They get the data from US Dept of Labor H1B LCA disclosure page. You can also go to the DOL Performance Data Disclosure Page and download the excels and search for your case number. The problem is the files are in hundreds of megabytes and not consumable.

It is important to have the right wage level selected as cases with Computer Programmer Level 1 wage are not considered specialty occupation and do not qualify for H1B Visa as per the New Policy Memorandum in April 2017

What is H1B Prevailing Wage relationship for USCIS approval?

USCIS would look at the H1B application as a whole and as part of that, they would ensure that H1B worker is paid as per the prevailing wage. If there is any discrepancy, USCIS can report the wage violation for the employer to DOL or ask the employer why not paid on par with others.

What if my Employer not paying as per H1B LCA Prevailing Wage ?

Your employer is mandated to pay as per the wages and salary listed on the LCA. If they are not paying so, you can raise a complaint with Department of Labor by filling out WH4 Form.  First thing to do is to raise it with employer and ask them to pay back wages or pay as per LCA. If they do not say so, then you can raise a request with WH4 form on DOL website

Does the the Prevailing or Minimum Wage for H1B LCA vary by Year ?

Yes, it can. The prevailing wage is based on wage surveys conducted by OES and it is published every year. When they publish the wage data, you need to watch closely for changes. You can check H1B Prevailing Wages History to find the history of H1B wage data that is curated by H1Bgrader. You always need to use the most recent Prevailing wage as they mention on the FLCDataCenter website when you file new LCA.

Below is the full list of previous changes and news related to the H1B Wage Levels. These give you a context of how things progressed over the past few years.

H1B Lottery to be based on Wage Levels Rule Cancelled

In 2021, DHS published a final rule in Federal Register that changes the H1B Visa Lottery Selection process from random selection to be based on H1B Wage Levels. Later, a lawsuit was filed on this, and eventually, this was canceled by the court. Eventually, in December 2021, USCIS published a note indicating the withdrawal of the final rule. So, there are no changes to the H1B Lottery process, it will still continue to be based on random selection. Check full details at Check H1B Wage Levels for Lottery article.

Changes to Wage Levels Proposed & Cancelled by Court

In October 2020, there was an Interim Final Rule published by DOL to change the H1B, PERM prevailing wage levels to 45th, 62nd, 78th, and 95th percentile for Wage Level 1 to Wage Level 4. Later in December 2020, two courts issued orders to cancel the changes to wage levels as DOL did not follow proper notice and comment period. Eventually, DOL issued announcement cancelling the H1B, PERM Wage Levels Changes.

Did we miss anything? Your thoughts?


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  1. Hello,

    I am a recently PhD graduated from UK, looking for academic job in the Sates.
    As junior lecturer how much should be my salary under H1B?
    Actually I check the occupation list, however since the education system in the Sates differ with UK, I don’t know what is the name of first level teaching job in a college or in a university

    many thanks

  2. Hello! Its great to see a place where we can get our visa related queries answered, Thanks to the team that is running this.

    My question is if my H1B extension is filed by my current employer, Is it legal and ok for me to look for another job with another employer? If it is, does my new employer need to file H1B extension too? then what happens to the old one that has been procesed – not yet approved?

    Thanks & Regards

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  4. I know this question have been asked few times but I cant find the maximum limit mentioned by labor department. My co is paying me x amount which is basic wage mentioned in web site (
    http://redbus2us.com/h1b-minimum-wage-or-lca-pr… ). I have been negotiating with co to increase salary but they are insisting that they cant pay more than LCA. I want to find out if there is any restriction or there is any maximum wage set by labor department for any specialty.
    I am definitely not asking fortunes but asking 10-12 % more than what is mentioned in LCA.

  5. hi Saurabh

    If someone applied for initial H-1B and then 3 years leater he needs to apply for First Visa extension does that automatically makes you fall under Wage Level II for the LCA fot the extension or can the company file it again under Level I even though I have 3 years of experience already.

    Thank you

  6. Hi Saurabh

    I am stuck and not able to take decision . Will be great if u can let me know and guide me on my below question. I went for Stamping in Oct 2013 and came back on jan 2014 on h1b stamp.

    1) I came here on H1 B stamped in Jan 2014 . I was terminated on 8th April
    without notice.

    2) My employer has paid me salary for April month till 15th . Is this as per the H1 B law he has paid me till 15days salary ? I worked till 8th April only.

    3) I had asked for one way transportation to home country which he has denied and told me that in April company has paid one week extra hence u can manage from that amount. Is this True as per the law ?

    4) It was desi company and after paying me by check he was taking cash back from me under the table for taxes and all . He had paid me by check only in March and April 15 days . Balance Jan Feb was in Cash .

    Pls suggest me what i should do now. I am going back to my home country on next week . But wanted to do complain against him as well to USCIS .

    Pls help me what should I do for my ticket ?


  7. Hi All,

    Quick question – I was hired back in July 2012 by my current employer and my LCA was approved at 70 K. The prevailing wage for that role during July 2012 to June 2013 was 69 K, so it worked out perfect. During current period which is July 2013 to June 2014 , the prevailing wage for my role in this county has gone up to 71,500 but my salary have stayed at 71,000. Is this a problem? I went for stamping in July 2013 and had no issues.

    My question is – Do employers have to maintain the LCA prevailing wage amount from when it was approved (in my case, 70K 2012), or do they have to increase employee’s salary each year as DOL prevailing wage # changes.

    If the answer to my question is yes, then do I need to bring this to my employer’s attention and ask them to match the July 2013 to June 2014 DOL (71500) amount and subsequently follow the same process each year? I know it was probably not a smart move by my lawyer to keep such a thin margin, but it is what it is.

    Many thanks for helping me out.


  8. 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.


      • 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.


        • 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.

  9. 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.


    • 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).

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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 .

    • 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.

  15. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  16. 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?


    • 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)?

      • 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.

        • 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?

  17. 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.

    • 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.

  18. 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 .

  19. Hello Experts,

    Say, Mr. A is earning 58K USD annually in H1B (January 2012). Later, the minimum LCA wage increased to 78K.
    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.

    • 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.


  20. 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!


    • 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.


        REQUIRED WAGE =100




        • 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.

          • 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??

          • 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

          • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

  21. 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?

    • 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.

          • 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”….

          • 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?

          • 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:


          • 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.

          • 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!

  22. 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 )

    • 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

  23. 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?

    • 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.

  24. 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?


    • 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.

      • 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 ..


  25. 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

  26. 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?


    • 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.

  27. 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.


  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

    • 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.

  31. 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.

    • 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.

  32. 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..

  33. 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.


    • 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.

  34. 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.

      • 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

        • 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.

    • 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.

  35. 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,
      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.

  36. 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.


  37. 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???


    • 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.

      • Hi Saurabh,

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


        • 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?

          • 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..

          • 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).

  38. 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.

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

  39. 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.


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

      • 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,
          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?

  40. 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

    • 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.

  41. 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?

  42. 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 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.

      • 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.

  43. 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



    • 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).

      • 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



        • 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?

          • 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 .



          • 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.

  44. 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


    • 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.

  45. 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 .


    • 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.

  46. 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 ??


    • 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.

  47. 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


    • 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.

  48. Oh my beloved Kumar
    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


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