H1B Minimum Wage LCA

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

In Apply H1B Visa by Kumar185 Comments

One of the biggest things of concern when you apply for Labor Condition Application ( LCA ) to file 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.

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

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 ?

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 can 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

Did I miss anything ? Your thoughts ?

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Comments ( 185 )

  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

      http://immigrationgirl.com/what-does-uscis-want-in-the-level-1-wage-rfe/

      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.

  6. Sam

    Hi

    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?

    Thanks

    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

        Hi

        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?

        Thanks

          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.

  7. 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

  8. 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
      Kumar

      kyle,
      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.

  9. 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 ?

  10. Kishore

    Hi,

    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
      Saurabh

      Kishore,

      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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. Bell

    Hello,
    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.

  15. 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
      Saurabh

      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.

  16. 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
      Kumar

      Jack,
      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.

  17. 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
      Saurabh

      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
          Saurabh

          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.

  18. sathish

    Hi

    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
      Saurabh

      Sathish,
      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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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….

  21. 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
      Kumar

      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…

  22. 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
    Rakesh

    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.

  23. Easwar

    http://www.flcdatacenter.com/download/NPWHC_Guidance_Revised_11_2009.pdf

    “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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