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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?