H1B Minimum Wage LCA

How to find H1B minimum/ LCA prevailing wage for a Job in US Location?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 212 Comments

One of the biggest things to consider, when you apply for Labor Condition Application ( LCA ) to file H1B visa is to look at the minimum wage or prevailing wage in the area you plan to work on H1B visa. This is a requirement to indicate in LCA and H1B petition is adjudicated based on that info. With the Level 1 (L1)  Wage RFEs since 2017, it is very important and many H1B visa holders or students willing to get a new H1B visa look for this wage information.

What is the Key Requirement for Wage in LCA for H1B Visa Petition?

You have to make sure you are not working below the minimum or prevailing wage in that geographic location for your particular position.  The minimum wage related information is available at  Foreign Labor Certification Data Center . They 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 for any city.  Before we start, lets look at the policy guidance.

What’s Department of Labor Guidance on Prevailing Wage for H1B LCAs ?

Department of Labor (DOL)  has given a proper document explaining the details on the Prevailing wages and how to select the wage level. It has full guidance on how to determine, if a position is entry level or higher level. Read Prevailing Wage Determination Policy Guidance

Step by Step Guide on How to find Prevailing or Minimum Wage for LCA – H1B Visa :

Step 1 : Go to home page  of Foreign Labor Certification Data Center and select the search wizard.

Find the State on FLCDataCenter for H1B LCA

Step 2 : 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. You can also chose to use the keyword option to enter, if you cannot find the job title. See below. 

Select LCA Database, Title and Area for H1B

Step 3 : Once select above options and hit search, you will wage information like below. 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. 

LCA Wage Level and information for a Position in A Job Area

How to find the Wage Level of your LCA that was used to file  H1B Petition ?

You can ask your employer to share the copy of LCA. In fact, they are supposed to share you a copy of your LCA. You need to look at Section G, which tell the information of the Wage Level, Wage offered in that area and the Wage database year. If you know the LCA number, you may even search online for the same and have a look at your LCA number on DOL LCA Website. Below is screenshot of the same.

Prevailing Wage information Section G on LCA in iCERT Portal DOL

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

What if my employer is not paying me Salary or wage as per LCA ?

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

Did I miss anything ? Your thoughts ?


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Comments ( 212 )

  1. Vaibhav Shinde

    Hi My Employer has filed for my extension before the FLC data for 2020/2021 updated. However my visa is not yet approved and is in the process. Now prevailing Wage for the same category has increased in my area for the same job code. Will that impact my H1B processing does employer have to change the LCA if it is approved already. In this situation if it gets approved I may be stuck in the same wage category for next 3 years. Whats should be my next step

    1. administrator

      Vaibhav Shinde,
      Well, I am not sure…They may or may not ask for new LCA with higher wage.
      Discuss with your attorney.

  2. John D

    My salary will be 58k ,but prevailing wage in my area is 62k. My company hasn’t filed an LCA yet, but does LCA wage have to be exactly at prevailing wage? Is there any leeway in this?

    1. administrator

      Joh D,
      Yes, it has to be at least prevailing wage. it is compliance. If you get paid less, it may impact H1B approval.

      1. John D

        Thanks for the reply! Is there any other sources for the prevailing wage other than flcdatacenter? The thing is even though my wage is little less than the prevailing wage, it is still more than all the other us citizen workers who are employed for the same position in my company. So by paying me 4k less than the prevailing wage, my company is not trying to get cheap labor to replace any us citizen.

        1. administrator

          John D,
          FLCData center is the legal source. All DOL cares is that you are paid at least what is listed in the prevailing wage, they do not compare with US workers one on one in your company. Speak to your company and see, if they can adjust it to make it higher.

        2. Krishnb

          my current LCA is 90K and moving to Illinois and LCA is 78K, does my employer have the right to change my previous salary (90K)to 78K ?
          is there any rule that should not be less than previous salary ?

          1. administrator

            It is not about salary, but if your location is not in commutable distance, they need to file new LCA and amendment as well, if the change is material.

  3. kvsonu


    i work for Large US based IT/ Software consulting firm..I have an H1B from past many years (with same company), the SOC code were always been “15-1121 -computer System Analysts”, this time as part of H1B Extension, company has changed the SOC code with (15-1142 “Network and Computer Systems Administrators”), i know the code has been changed to make the LCA wages lower

    My question — Is it legal/official and possible to change the SOC code while filing H1B Extension, how can i prevent the SOC code from being changed..? (I want my extension to be done with older SOC code only, Please note LCA has already been procured

    I am on the same location, with same client (So it should be only Extension and not the Ext+amendment”, please advice

    1. administrator

      This is something you need to discuss with your employer and clarify…Usually, if any of your duties changes, then changes occur. If these SOC codes are related and the tasks are aligned, should be ok…Hard to give generic answer, talk to your attorney.

  4. Aseema

    What is the minimum salary/wages required to be paid by the employer to a graduate (Masters) industrial designer, in order to be eligible to apply for an h1b visa?

  5. Rag Ramini

    Does LCA amount on H1B has to match W2? My LCA amount is 93600. My gross pay is 94600 which is above LCA amount and year end pay check shows gross pay as 94600. But W2 shows only 88600 because only that amount is taxed. Remaining amount is pretax medical insurance from my side (employee part of medical insurance). The medical insurance from my part shows in the paycheck. I asked my employer and he says LCA amount = Gross pay not what it shows on W2. But I’ m concerned.

    1. administrator

      Anything equal to or above LCA mentioned wage is fine. If your pay stubs add up to your LCA amount or higher, it should be fine. Taxation is a different thing vs how much you are paid.

  6. Mm

    I have contract job offer from a consultancy. They are offering me very good hourly rate and I am interested in joining this job. They will file H1b as well. Contract duration is a year. I have some questions :

    1. Can my employer file my H1B on lower rate (it will be not be lower than LCA) what actual they are offering me? My employer says “They can’t file my H1B lower than what actual hour rate offered”, What if I want them to file at lower rate, is it possible?

    2. If my H1B get approves with this consultancy and contract ends provided that my employer don’t have any project for me, Can my next employer hire me on lower rate what is approved in H1B.

    3. I feel I might find some difficulty in finding next job, if my current employer don’t have any project and my H1B is approved with this employer with hourly rate (which is high). Should I accept this job offer with lower rate? So that my H1B is approved on a rate which can be accepted by other employer.

    Thank you

    1. administrator

      1. Filing with wrong info can create issues in the long run. It is better to be compliant as per rules and indicate the actual rate you get paid. You anyways, will need to pay taxes, not sure, how it matters.
      2. Everything depends on the job role and if such changes occur, your employer has to file amendment accordingly…
      3. Well, it is your personal choice and decision…discuss with your H1B attorney and make an informed decision.

  7. jagadeesh

    Hello, thank you for the post.

    In my location level 1 wage is $65000 and level 2 wage is $74000, the mean wage is $81037 as per the site mentioned the above post. I am a recent masters graduate and now in my STEM OPT. I am working a full-time position at my employer site. My employer wants to file H1-B for a wage($65000 to $70000). My fear is I may get less pay wage RFE. Is it too risky to file for that wage? And which level is a wage of $70000 is considered as, level 1 or level 2?

    Thank you,

    1. administrator

      It depends on the position or job title. For instance, Level 1 computer programmers got many RFEs in the past…so, you need to discuss with attorney and file something that makes sense for your role and qualified as a speciality occupation.

  8. Ananya Desai

    Hi Admin,
    A general question but getting contradictory information so need information–
    My H1B lottery got picked in year 2015 and I appeared for interview at Hyderabad. I got approval till October 2018. I never travelled to USA and soon it my H1B stamping will expire.
    Am I eligible for cap exempted renewal for 3/6 years? Do I need to travel to USA to get extension on H1B.

    many thanks.

    1. administrator

      You are eligible to get your H1B extended using cap exempt for 3 years from India itself. You need a valid visa to enter US, if you plan to enter after October 2018, you need to get a new visa stamping.

  9. Roby

    My LCA says 56k with a Level1 wage for a software developer role in my area.
    However, I earn around 85k in my company. As per FLC data center my salary is a upper level2 wage, will my case be considered as a level1 application or a level2 application ?

    @admin Is there any reason why the attorneys would do such a thing (not file for a level2 LCA), its seems weird to me.

    1. Dave

      Prior to the recent RFE on Level I ,The employer always had level I wages for new employee ( First time H1B) , specially those who were not selected for client’s project. As even after approval the employers were not sure that the H1B employee will immediately placed on project and they will have to run payroll to avoid bench.
      Once on project , given good billing the salaries were being adjusted , New LCAs with level II filed and kept only for record as the project duration and employees performance were always in doubt

      As of now with position of a programmer analyst not being used , filling level II for software developer for new H1B is profitable for H1B employer ( small companies)

  10. Sai

    As per FLC
    Your search returned the following: Print Format
    Area Code:27260
    Area Title:Jacksonville, FL MSA
    OES/SOC Code:15-1132
    OES/SOC Title:Software Developers, Applications
    Level 1 Wage:$30.50 hour – $63,440 year
    Level 2 Wage:$37.44 hour – $77,875 year
    Level 3 Wage:$44.39 hour – $92,331 year
    Level 4 Wage:$51.33 hour – $106,766 year
    Mean Wage (H-2B):$44.38 hour – $92,310 year

    Let say i get 75K is this level1 or level2 ? wanted to know the numbers given in FLC is max or min !!

  11. Simsons

    How is the Wage Level determined? Is it based on my wage or is it based on Prevailing wage?

    I do no see a my wage column in your screenshot.

    1. Ram

      Its determined based on which level your salary fits into. The levels are already pre- determined for a given job title and area of work. The Salary and wage level can be obtained from your LCA.

  12. Lindsey

    Hello, I got a lower than minimum salary bc I searched the wrong area when I first got the offer (it’s very stupid I know).. Now I’m preparing to get H1B in 2018 but my current salary doesn’t satisfy the minimum in my area, what should I do? I can ask my employer to increase my compensation, but would that be too late? Any help would be great, thank you!!

  13. Mark

    For Non h1b depend employer you can work for 20k$once your h1b is approved .Its better to do a degree in US and then you can get 3 years OPT have a great time and then manipulate the things get married bring your spouse make her work for another 20k $ for stay and lead a happy life.

  14. nushan

    My employer filed the LCA as wage level 1 for last H1B petition which I lost the lottery of, but after searching in FLC wizard, I found out that I qualify for at least Level 3 wage in my area. Is there any advantage for the employer to select a lower wage level despite the fact that I qualify for a higher one?

    For the upcoming H1B petition, can our company file a new LCA with a higher wage level selected?

    1. Dave

      Well if you have read about the wage level qualification , then you should find out the prevailing wages of area where you will be working and see if your employer can offer you level III wages

      Most of the consulting companies select the wages keeping the billing rates they are getting for the consultants

      Billing rate low wage level selected low. The employer possibly can not pay more or even 10% less than the billing rate.

      Most of the employer have 30% margin

    2. Dave

      Well most of the employer file the wage levels not on the degree or experince but on following factors
      Is the employee working for their own inhouse long term projects
      The Rate they are getting for H1B employee work if working on clients project.( to work out their profit Margin and expenditure on H1B filing)
      How long the projects will run.( As as to calculate expenditure on Amendment filing
      What will be the Bench time in between the project when they will have to still run the payroll.
      It is not as easy as thought ( Keeping the business model)

  15. Vin

    Got RFE one new H1B 2018. Employer has been asked to provide a new LCA based on Wage 2 lever which has been prepapproved before the petition was filed.
    Unfortunately employer does not have such LCA.
    Question is how can he defend that the beneficiary is good for wage 1 and what kind of response/document he can send aback to USCIS.

  16. Vin

    For a new H1B petition for 2018, the case has been with a RFE for wage level 1 and asking for a wage 2 LCA and employer does not have an approved wage 2 LCA and he mentioned to withdraw the case.
    What is the best way for employer to defend that the wage 1 is the best for the case and what document he can send for responding a RFE ??

    1. Ram


      This might help you.

      For wage level 1 RFE, providing a new LCA with wage level 2 may not be the right response. Rather they should justify the petition submitted. Please talk to the petitioner and ask them to justify it rather than withdrawing it.

  17. Sam


    I heard minimum wage for h1b visa is $60,000, but there are many incidents that the prevailing wage are much lower than $60,000 because of geographic location. I.e., $60k in CA is like nothing, but its decent amount in AZ.

    If that is the case, can someone who is getting paid $59,000/yr with level 3 prevailing wage apply for h1b visa?


    1. Sam

      2 more questions.

      Is the minimum $60,000 wage only apply to h1b dependent employer?

      Also, If prevailing wage level 1 is $30000
      prevailing wage level 2 is $40000.

      Is $35,000 = level 1 or level 2 wage?

    2. Ram

      Minimum wage level varies depending on location of job, job title. We cant fix a specific amount for H1B. Depends on the position, title and location. As each location has a different minimum wage requirement for different jobs.

      1. Sam


        But some place level 1 wage is 35000 and level 2 is 53000. Can you still apply h1b if it’s less than $60,000 for a non-h1b dependent employer?


          1. Ram

            May be the location/job title you have applied has much lesser minimum wage level. If the quoted salary is much lesser than the stipulated minimum wage level, you will be issued a RFE from USCIS.

  18. J.

    Thank you Redbus!

    My salary is higher than the prevailing wage level 2 published in 7/2016-6/2017, but lower than the newly published one (7/2017 – 6/2018), am I in trouble? Thanks

  19. kyle

    Hi I have a question about the H1b. If I completed a JD this year and obtained my license, would it be possible for my relative’s company which is not a law firm to hire me? And would I only be eligible for a lawyer title? And which level would the prevailing wage be for me if I were to be retained as a lawyer by my relatives company? Thank you.

    1. administrator

      everything depends on the role the company plans to apply to and the credibility of the company. The prevailing wage depends on the location and you need to check for a particular location for that on department of labor website to get idea.

  20. msk

    Hi Saurabh,

    The prevailing wage for job code was 74K before july, 2017.
    Now it changed to 70K.

    This doesn’t make any sense, how is this possible ?

  21. Kishore


    I have a question related to LCA /short-term placement?

    I have LCA for client A in state A, but the client headquarters are in state B (more than 50 miles away). So I have to travel Monday(fly in to State B) – Thursday (fly back to state A), couple of weeks per month to work with teams in state B.

    Should my employer need to file LCA for state B location as well?

    or as I’ll be staying only 4 days per visit in non-LCA location of State B, will it be considered as short-term placement?

    1. administrator


      You would be working from two locations – A and B. In that case, the LCA should cover both locations. Talk to your attorney about it.

  22. Sanjay

    Hi, My Yearly wage is 48k and my location is Denver,CO
    My position is like require only 3 yrs working experience.
    Can i file H1B for the year 2017?

  23. Swetha Karadi

    The yearly Wage rate in my current LCA for my assignment in Newark, New Jersey shows $65,010. Whereas the yearly wage rate for my previous assignment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was $68,171 . The role is Computer Systems Analyst.
    Can you please provide clarification on this.

  24. Kumar

    Hi, My employer has mentioned LCA amount to $60000/year, when he filed my H1B last year. Now I have changed the client and state, my billing rate also get increased. So I have asked my employer to revise my annual salary officially to $100,000/year. He agreed for that orally.
    Anyway now my employer has to file an Amendment ,
    1)What is the official procedure to change my revised salary?
    2)How should I get confirmation officially from my employer on my revised salary? How can I make sure my employer will pay as per revised salary from this month onward?
    3)Does my employer has to put the revised salary figure ($100k) in new LCA during amendment to officially inform USCIS?
    4)What are all the documents should my employer/attorney has to send to USCIS for my Amendment?

  25. Bell

    I am on H1 for 2 yrs in USA and having 8+ years exp and getting 74k in Los Angeles. I am looking for change my job so getting some offers like $50/hr for Texas without any benefits. Would you be good rate for my exp(.Net Developer). Can you please anyone suggest me.

  26. Debu G.

    Hi…i came to US last year on H1B visa when the minimum wage for the job code and location was 70K. Now the same has been revised to 72K (per flc data center site).
    Should my employer revise my wages to 72K, or will they still keep paying 70K as that was the minimum wage when I joined?

    1. administrator

      Debu G,

      They are not required to unless job code or location changes. A good employer would still increase your salary to match what’s prevalent in the market w/o updating the LCA.

  27. Jack

    Hello please urgent reply.
    I am on F1 visa completed my 1st Semester and earned total 16 credits . i am doing my MBA in finance from NEWYORK. I have an MBA degree from India. I am looking for sponsor who can ready to sponsor me H1b. if any one can help me in this? As i got married with a girl whose parents were against our marriage and they have screwed my life so finally feeling safe in US. if i get sponsor who can sponsor a visa can help me?? i have 3 years accounting experience and doing my MBA in Finance .

    1. administrator

      H1B quota for this year is complete. You will need to wait until next year April for sponsor and till October to work. Your option is to find a job at a school or non-profit entity that can sponsor you visa.

  28. Subhranshu Das

    Hi ,
    I have received an offer from a consultancy for H1b sponsorship, they are based in New Jersey. And based on clients/projects i might have to switch cities. They are offering $70k per annum + $5k as bonus.

    I have total 5 years of experience in Front End Technologies. Is this a good offer, what should be the average or actual figure??

    1. administrator

      Subhranshu Das,

      Are you single or married w/ or w/o kids? Do you know what will be your share of medical insurance payments? Do you know if this is fixed salary irrespective of your billing rate to the client? Do you get paid for holidays or vacations?

      1. Subhranshu Das

        Hi Saurabh,

        1)I am single.
        2)I am getting 10 days of Annual Vacation paid leaves + 5 days of paid sick leave + floating paid holidays. Is that normal?
        3) I don’t know about my share of medical insurance payments. But they mentioned “shared pre-tax payroll deduction”. What is the normal percent.
        4) I didn’t ask about salary as per client billing rate. How does it goes normally.

        You can send me your mail id i can forward you other details as well.

        1. administrator

          Subhranshu Das,

          The expenses will be on lower side as you are single. Also you are getting a good vacation package. You can also check if there is a provision to carry forward the leaves or everything gets exhausted at the end of the year.

          Good employers cover up to 90% of the insurance cost. Medical insurance is expensive in US. If you remain healthy, its all good else you may end-up w/ huge bills. Ask them what will be your share of the premium and whats the basic structure of the offered insurance plan (co-pay, deductible, annual max etc)

          As for billing rate, its a double edged sword. If you work for a client where billing rate is low, your employer will still pay you 70K salary and you may be in a good position. However, if you are w/ a client where billing rate is high, then employer is keeping most of the profits made off you. To know whether it is beneficial or not, one needs to know what the client is really paying the employer, which may again vary.

          In addition, your taxes will depend upon the state/city you will be residing in. So take home salary and average expenses can’t be known before hand.

          Having said that, H-1B visa allows you to move around to different employer. If you are capable and don’t like current employer, you can always make the switch.

  29. sathish


    I am about to complete my 2 years in USA. I am working for the same employer for these 2 years. I heard once i completed 2 years in USA, then when i go for H1B visa extension then my LCA wages will change to the next level ? is this correct? At present i getting paid at level 2 wages , if i go for extension then will i get level 3 wages ?

    Can some one please update me is you have some information on my query.
    Thank you.

    1. administrator

      H-1 extension can be filed at most 6 months prior to H-1 expiration date. So if you received H-1 797 for 3 years, then it can filed 6 months prior to that.

      When filing H-1, employer needs to file new LCA which will take into account prevailing wages for that job/role in that area. If it is more than what you were paid initially, then good for you.

  30. AccVGR

    Hi All,
    I have below doubt regarding my lca.
    When my LCA was originally approved it has some amount mentioned in it, but a year later wages in that areas are revised and increased but I am getting paid with old lca rates. What are the rules around this situation is it mendetory to pay for employer on latest rates? And what are the options if employer denies to update the lca with new wedges.

  31. DC

    Hi All,
    I have a quick question on how salary/pay can be offered to different types of work visas. Ex: H1B employees must be paid the minimum prevailing wages. Does this mean they should be paid only on salary basis and not hourly? Similary what are the other type of work visas and how can they be paid… hourly / salaries… etc? and is there any prevailing wages to be considered for the other work visas?
    Please help….

  32. Info please

    Hello guys,

    I have a quick question and would very badly need to know. Wud appreciate if anyone can help me with the answer..
    I work for Indian MNC but am in Canada right now under same employer and got h1b picked and approved now.
    I plan to go to India for stamping and go to US from India, I have option to get stamped in Canada and go to US from Canada.
    1) Manager said that if i get stamping done in Canada and go to US, I may get more salary in comparison to, if I do stamping in India and move to US.
    2) Friends say the salary already wud have submitted during H1b application filing and cannot be changed by employer mostly(unless manager wishes), so getting stamped from Canada or India will be same in terms of salary..

    Can anyone tell me what wud most be probably true and what is the best option for me?
    Thank you

    1. administrator

      Well, that is not true. Legally, they would have filed your H1B with LCA based minimum wage or whatever was offered to you. I dont know how stamping in different city will make difference to salary. I think your manager is just trying to tell you to go to Canada, as it is a perception that stamping is easier in Canada. If it is a large MNC, they would not do something like this. You should talk your immigration or HR department in company…

  33. Rakesh

    Hi All,

    I have a situation related to the LCA wage level determination for which I need some expert advice…

    Sometime in 2012, my current employeer assinged me as the IT Project manager for an assignment and the LCA role was Project manager with wage level 3. During that time I had around 11-12 years of total IT experience out of which 1-2 years of Project management.

    Now after 3 years with the same employer, when I am being assigned as the Project Manager for a different project, they are mentioning the wage level as 2 due to which the minimum wage is going down drastically. By now I have added another 3 years to me PM experience and also I have completed the PMP certification. So I would think instead of lowering the wage level it should have been increased from level 3 to 4 rather.

    Can someone pls let me know if it is appropriate to do so. If not, how and where I can raise my concern on this.

    Thanks in advance

    1. NIKHIL

      You must be working for some Indian IT company! It’s common for them to do it. If HR is sensitive, they should be able to help you out otherwise you may need to speak with some lawyer.

  34. Easwar


    “An indicator that the job request warrants a wage determination at Level II\III would be a requirement for years of education and/or experience that are generally required as described in the O*NET Job Zones.” I searched the Onet site on how it is decided which level we belong to and din’t get any detail. Eg: Is there a process how DOL decides that a 8+ yrs experiences should goto a Level III and 4-8 Years Experienced should goto Level II etc..? Or is it decided by the Employer? I am trying to understand the logic behind Level decider for a “15-1121.00 – Computer Systems Analysts” based upon work Experience.

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