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H1B, PERM Wage Levels – Court Cancels, New Levels by DOL

As some of you know, recently H1B, PERM wage levels rule that was submitted to OMB and later withdrawn. It was published as an interim final rule to Federal register on Oct 8th, 2020 and effective now. We will review the background, current wage levels, new wage levels, and impact in this article.

Update : The below rule is not effective as it was cancelled by court in first week of December 2020. But, in January 2021, a final rule was issued with revised wage levels by DOL. Read first section of article.

This prevailing wage level changes rule is going to impact few hundred thousand H1B holders, we will look at the impact at the end. Also, in terms of timing, this comes at the same time as new H1B rules also kick in by DHS to Strengthen H1B program with change in Definition, 1-year Approvals, Others.  

DOL Final Rule on H1B Wage Levels – January 2021

January 12th, 2021 : US Department of Labor, after the court cancelled the Wage Levels rule, revised the previous published wage levels for H1B and PERM and published a final rule on January 12th 2021. As per the new rule, the new wage levels look like below. They also will be implemented in phases. For all the details read DOL Final Rule with Revised New Wage Levels from Jan 2021

Prevailing Wage LevelH1B LCA, PERM Wage Levels  Today   H1B LCA, PERM Wage levels  from October 2020 Interim Final rule  Revised H1B,  PERM Wage Levels in Final Rule published on Jan 12, 2021
Wage Level I17th percentile45th percentile35th percentile
Wage Level II34th  percentile62nd  percentile53rd percentile
Wage Level III50th  percentile78th  percentile72nd percentile
Wage Level IV67th  percentile95th percentile  90th percentile
H1B, PERM Wage Levels Changes

Courts Cancel Implementing the H1B, PERM Wage Levels Changes Rule

In first week of December, 2020, there were two judgments given by two courts canceling the implementation of the H1B, PERM Wage Levels Changes Regulation that is described in the below article. Below are the details.

  • Court in California : A California Court issued an order cancelling the entire H1B, PERM Wage Levels Change Rule, including DHS rule on Strengthening H1B program.. The lawsuit was filed by US Chamber of Commerce stating that DOL and DHS did not follow proper notice and comment period. For more info read – Court Cancels H1B Wage Levels, 1 Year H1B Approvals rules.
  • Court in New Jersey : A lawsuit was filed by IT Serve to stop implementing the rule at a Court in New Jersey. The judgment was given by this court with an injunction order to stop implementation of the Wage Levels Changes Rule for H1B and PERM.
  • DOL Announcement : Based on these two Court Orders, US Dept of Labor issued Official Announcement stating that they are cancelling the implementation of the H1B Wage Levels Change Rule. For complete information, read DOL Update – Cancel the H1B, PERM Wage Levels Change Rule.

Background for Rule to set New Wage Levels for H1B, PERM

US Dept of Labor gave an extensive amount of citations and history of the wage levels and the reasons to change the current prevailing wage levels for H1B LCA & PERM programs. The key reasons for the current changes are primarily driven by the below factors

  • Better protect wages and jobs for US workers
  • Reduce incentives to hire foreign workers over US Workers
  • Current Unemployment situation in US with COVID-19
  • President Trump’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order
  • President Trump’s Travel Ban for H1B holders tied to labor market
  • Outdated Wage Levels system used by DOL for H1B, PERM
  • Negative Impact of Labor Market due to H1Bs, PERM with general Wage Levels

Current H1B Prevailing Wage Levels, Percentiles

Currently, there are four prevailing wage levels defined that are used by US Dept of Labor for H1B Visa LCAs and PERM programs.  The prevailing wage levels for a position vary by experience, education and locality.  They are as defined as below

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

If you want to know more, read What are H1B Prevailing Wage Levels, How to find them ?

Now, that you have some background, let’s look at the new changes that will be implemented by the US Dept of Labor (DOL) regulation.

A Lawsuit was filed on the changes in Wage Levels to H1B. Read Lawsuit Details, Key Argument Points – H1B Wage Levels Change

Regulation Document by DOL – Overview, Approach used

The Regulatory Document that is published by US Dept of Labor is 157 pages. Most of the text is background and analysis for changes. They start with the background of the H1B and PERM program, how wage levels came into existence.  They talk about the similarities of H1B program and PERM program and why it makes sense to have same prevailing wage levels for both H1B and PERM.

They talk about the reasons for change stating the reason to preserve American Jobs as per INA and President Trump’s Executive orders. They talk about the adverse effects of low wages and how it impacts US workers based on many studies. They also share how low prevailing wages provide opportunity for US employers to hire foreign workers at lesser wages than US workers.  

See below screenshot from regulation text.

Why US Dept of Labor Changing Wage Levels
Why US Dept of Labor Changing Wage Levels

Why current Prevailing Wage Levels are wrong   

US Dept of Labor says that current prevailing wage levels used for H1B and PERM programs are based on OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) Survey Program. The OES prevailing wage levels are very generic and not tailored for H1B and PERM.  They do not really factor in the DHS or USCIS requirements for H1B Workers that are related to specialty occupation.

Especially, they highlight telling that the current wage levels are artificially low and do not reflect wages for high skilled workers in a specialty occupation. See below screenshot from rule text.

Why current wage levels are wrong
Why current prevailing wage levels are wrong for H1B, PERM Programs

You may watch the below YouTube Video as well that has article content.

Here is a table from the regulation document on “Top 20 LCA/H-1B Employers based on Certifications, as of 6/30/2020,” Employment and Training Administration, accessed August 2020.

Top Employers Total LCAs Filed/Worker Positions Requested Average Rate at which the Wage Offered exceeds Prevailing Wage Percentage of Worker Positions where Wage Offered Exceeds Prevailing Wage by Over 20 Percent
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.701 / 38,5335.74%9.70%
Infosys Limited7,615 / 21,6276.53%11.08%
Cognizant Technology Solutions US Corp.20,192 / 20,1920.24%0.32%
Deloitte Consulting, LLP7,316 / 16,56761.62%44.16%
Amazon.com Services, LLC9,175 / 12,56093.93%68.38%
Oracle America, Inc.543 /12,2690.48%0.55%
Tata Consultancy Services Limited8,595 / 9,3882.95%4.90%
Zensar Technologies, Inc.130 / 9,2071.03%0.77%
NVIDIA Corporation396 / 8,9774.69%8.33%
Google, LLC8,669 / 8,66971.73%58.60%
Ernst & Young U.S., LLP8,170 / 8,17088.59%71.79%
Facebook, Inc.3,583 / 7,67424.71%47.92%
Cisco Systems, Inc.925 / 7,1218.88%16.65%
Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.115 / 7,1106.05%15.65%
Apple, Inc.2,983 / 6,889117.89%61.25%
Microsoft Corporation6,544 / 6,63131.48%68.61%
Western Digital Technologies, Inc.267 / 6,62112.30%21.72%
ServiceNow, Inc.359 / 6,3830.00%0.00%
Computer Sciences Corporation231 / 6,0340.44%1.30%
Kforce, Inc.584 / 5,7861.16%1.71%
Percent of National LCA/H-1B Totals19.2% / 31.6%  
Simple Average for the Top 20 27.02% 25.67%
Top 20 LCA/H-1B Employers based on Certifications, as of 6/30/2020,” Employment and Training Administration, accessed August 2020.

The above table indicates how actual H1B Employees are paid about 20% higher than the prevailing wages in the region than regular workers. DOL rationale is that these stats clearly indicate that current prevailing wages in place for H1B workers are low and have to be changed.

Similarly, for PERM program as well they put up prevailing wage level data and show that PERM wages offered in labor certification is about 16.7% more than the prevailing wages for regular workers. Again, this data tells them that the wage levels for PERM is also low and have to be changed.

Now that you know the full background and DOL rationale, let’s look at the new prevailing wage levels changed for H1B and PERM.

New Prevailing Wage Levels for H1B, PERM

US Dept of Labor talks about their approach used based on stats and formulas on how they have come up with the new wage levels. We will not cover that here and directly get to the gist of it.  The revised prevailing wage levels for H1B workers are as below

Prevailing Wage LevelH1B LCA, PERM Wage levels  Before  New H1B LCA, PERM Wage levels  with Regulation  
Wage Level I17th percentile45th percentile
Wage Level II34th  percentile62nd  percentile
Wage Level III50th  percentile78th  percentile
Wage Level IV67th  percentile95th percentile
Changes to Prevailing Wage Levels for H1B, PERM Programs

How to interpret the Change in Prevailing Wage Levels?

What the above changes to prevailing wage levels  technically means is that, if a company used to hire an entry level worker on H1B Visa using Level I wage before, now they have to pay Level III wage for the same entry level worker.

 ExampleCalifornia : Just to give you a perspective of the change, see below wage levels from FLC Data Center for Computer Occupation in California. In the past, the employer would have paid anywhere around $70,720 per year to get entry level H1B worker. Now, the employer has to pay between$110,000 and $120,370.  If the company want to hire a mid to senior level person, they need to pay now much over $145,000, maybe $160,000 or more to meet the prevailing wage level requirement.  Hopefully that is clear.

Prevailing Wage Levels Californai Computer Occupation
Prevailing Wage Levels California Computer Occupation

Below is the regulatory text screenshot for your reference.

Old and New Prevailing Wage levels for H1B PERM

If you want to compare Wage Levels, Check H1BGrader.com – Old vs New Wage Levels for H1B Position in an Area. They compare nicely with graphs, rates, check below sample

Compare Wage Levels H1BGrader
Compare Wage Levels H1BGrader.com

New H1B Wage Levels rule effective Date

As per regulation text, the new H1B, PERM wage levels will be effective from the day the regulation is published in Federal register.  The official regulation was published in the Federal register on October 8th, 2020. So, the new wage levels are effective from October 8th, 2020. See below screenshot with effective date from Federal Register. There is a 30 days comment period as it is interim final rule.

Effective Date Wage Levels Rule

Who does the New Wage Levels Rule apply to ?

The new wage levels rule is applicable to PERM applications with pending Prevailing Wage Level determinations on the effective date(Oct 8, 2020) of the regulation, new PERM applications filed on or after the effective date of the new rule. Also, for H1B LCAs filed with DOL on or after the effective(Oct 8, 2020) date of the regulation.

DOL clearly tells that they will not apply the new prevailing wage levels to previously approved prevailing wage determinations or PERM applications that were approved, including LCAs.  Below is the exact regulatory text screenshot.

Wage Levels Changes - Who will it apply to
Wage Levels Changes – Who will it apply to and Not apply to

Impact of the New Wage Levels Changes ? 400K H1B holders ?

The impact of the new H1B and PERM prevailing levels is going to be huge, if they continue to be effective. H1BGrader.com website has done detail analysis saying that H1B wage levels rule can impact 275K jobs . As per their report and analysis, there are about 275,000 H1B holders ( added Level 1 – 63,815 and Level 2 – 214,197 job LCA count for FY 2020 – until Q3 June 30) who would be impacted, when they go for new H1B LCA for FY 2020.

But, the impact could be far more, if you see data for FY 2019, which is full year data, which has Level II workers at 316K, and Level 1 workers at 88K, this totals to over 400K H1B LCAs. So, the expected impact could be about 400K H1B holder, when they go for new LCAs.  Below is the graph from their blog.  You can check their Top 15 H1B Employer Wage Level Distribution report as well to get an idea.  

H1B Wage Levels Impacted Employees
H1B Wage Levels Impacted Employees

We can expect similar impact for PERM program as well, we do not have any data points to share the impact on how many exactly would be impacted.

What do you think of the changes to the H1B wage levels and PERM wage Levels? Share your thoughts in comments.

You can check the official Regulation Report on Wage Levels


Other Articles


  1. Hey Everyone,

    Here is my situation. My current wage per year is 89K on level 1. New wage level for my area is 100k which is basically stopping my H1B extension. If my employer increase my pay by changing the role , will it be ok? or shall I wait for law suit results? I have two months left for my extension .

      • Kumar,

        I looked at the link Non OES surveys used on H1B LCAs by role or company. When I search for my employer and i did not find any data and so look like my employer do not use Non OES surveys. I am also impacted by the wage rule and my H1B extension is stopped. H1B will be expired in 4-5 months. Do you think I should wait for lawsuit results ? Or should I start asking my employer to use alternative wage survey ? I am not sure whether they will be ready to use alternative wage survey ? Also alternative wage surveys like Bradford, watson , we cannot see the salary range for any role.?


        • nisguta,
          There is still some time left for you, so I would wait for a month and then talk to employer and the attorney on the options.
          You can click on the the LCA to see the details of the wages from the survey. But, in general, for you to see that wage surveys you need to pay the company.

  2. Here is my situation :

    I am on EAD and filed H1b with client A.my project ended with client A and started working with client B.Filed premium and got the approval for client A with i797 A (COS approved) .I am in the process to file amendment .Will new wage level impact me ?

  3. Wage level (1-4) says N/A for SOC code 15-1133 for Santa Clara county. Mean wage is $145000. The wage data may be at least: $100.00 hour, $208,000 year. Does that mean employer needs to pay $145000 or $208000/year?

  4. Hi,
    There are recent reports in social media that the new wage level rule is causing issues at the POE.
    I have valid H1B visa valid till Apr, 2022 and working direct FTE. Based on earlier levels I was above level 4 but now I am between level 2 and 3. I am right now in India and planning to try reentry at IAD by November 3rd week. Will the wage level issue cause any problem at POE? Can I strengthen my case with any documents other than the standard H1B interview documents.

    • Rag34,
      Where did you read the report. Do you know the person who returned. State the source.
      If you have LCA approved with old wage levels, you cannot be returned at POE, there could be other fraud involved.
      As long as all your documents are correct and genuine, you still have offer in US, you are fine.

      • My apologies. It was posted in fb group for repratriation and looks like a one-off situation so far. Just asked here to see if there are more cases. No way to find out the genuineness of the post.

        I have all the documents with me that I carried for H1 visa interview last year along with new employment letter and paystubs. Hope that will be enough.
        Thank you very much for your response.

        • Seyed,
          Well, they will definitely be different and very likely less…but USCIS may or may not accept it during approval, it is very subjective. So, your attorney would be the best person to judge this.

  5. Hi Kumar,

    Can this change (new wage levels) put pressure on employers to increase salaries of their existing employees?
    The difference between the salary I am being paid (which is just $2k more than the old prevailing wages) and the new prevailing wage is around $30,000. This is a huge difference. Am I not supposed to be paid (by my employer) as per the new wage levels? My visa extension was filed recently so no chance of new amendment to be filed in near future.

  6. I checked the wage level in my recent LCA and it says Dietrich Fall Survey 2020 and doesn’t say any Wage level. Can you please let me know if this is related to wage level. Also, please let me know if the Dietrich Spring Survey wage levels also changed

    • Was your H1-B approved with salary based on Deitrich or Zweig or any such wage survey instead of FLAC wage? Anyone who has had a similar experience is requested to comment. Maybe Admin even!

      Thank you

          • PS,
            Yes, third party survey companies like Radford as well. We are working with H1Bgrader to build a tool to be able to search for these by job title or company. stay tuned. will update.

  7. Hi Kumar,

    I was laid off due to covid and I applied for an H1B transfer. I just got an RFE on my H1B transfer in Oct 2020. I do not know what the reason is yet since I only checked on the portal.
    I have also used up my 60 days of unemployment on H1B visa. I just wanted to know what my options are if the transfer is denied? And also, since my H1B transfer was filed on June 2020 will it come under new wage levels if the employer does the RFE paperwork? Thank you in anticipation.

    • Shubham,
      Your options are limited as the I-94 would be expired and you will not have status, check with attorney…you may need to leave….
      The wage levels apply, if they apply for new LCA.

  8. Any idea when lawsuit file against this new rule? I have to start my extension as my visa is expiring feb 1st week. 🙁 I dont think my company will increase the salary according to the new wage level..

  9. Is it mandatory for bachelors degree to be in computer science only for the h1b extensions already filed before oct 8 and are in progress now .. rfe or case received status as of now but filed before oct 8

  10. Is there a difference in the process between h1b extension filed by a person before and after I-140? If so what documents are given for filing extension after your 140 is approved. I am not sure if my company attorneys have filed my extension based on my 140 or h1b. My 6 years h1b period has not been completed yet

    • I-140 approval will help you to get your petition approved for 3 more years from the date of application irrespective of whether you have finished your 6 years of US stay.

      • Thanks for your reply .. is there way I could check if my extension was filed based on 140 or wrt h1b 6 years tenure
        Or is it default that once 140 is approved we get our extension filed based on 140 only.. sorry my 140 recently got approved so I have limited knowledge on this.. thanks in advance

  11. I have my I-140 approved early this year and my company filed for h1b extension before oct 8th in premium. Since my PERM step 1 was done already does this impact my extension every time from now onwards ?

  12. Hi Kumar & Team,

    My H1B will get expired in March 2021. I don’t have an I-140 yet.
    I’m expecting my employer will file for my renewal shortly, will the new rule affect my renewal. I checked in the FDC website and my salary is much lower than it is showing.
    Please advise.

  13. My visa expired but have petition approved till 2022 Dec. I am dropbox eligible and planning to visit India next month. Will wage level impact my Dropbox visa stamping?

  14. My h1b application is approved till Sept 2021. But I haven’t got my visa stamped yet. I have stamping appointment next month in Canada. Would I face difficulty in getting Visa stamped due to new wage level increase. As my wage level is below new minimum wage level 1. Please let me know if anyone knows if this wage level affects stamping

    • I have a counter question.. Can we go in canada for stamping of H1b anymore? I believe there was a mandate for all foreign nationals to go in home country for stamping and not the third country, in effect from many years. If you can, please let me know, I am in same boat.

      On the possible reply to your situation, you and I both when go to stamping either in India or canada, we go for interview and our last pay checks are not meeting prevailing wage levels, we wont be entertained for a even a second and given 22g RFE to meet the min wage level requirements document to present…See the other comment just below, the guy has PWD approved but attorny is saying cant file labor without new prevailing wage update…possibly going to get RFE…

      • Filing Labor and getting Visa stamp for already approved petition are two different things.

        Wage level would impact labor filling, but if you already have approved petition then yes no need to worry abt stamping.

        • Yes, of course they are different. But re-read it what I meant to say.. you need not to go for new wage level H1b new percentile… but you should preferably should have salary range at least near to prevailing wage.. Let me give you and example.. Old prevailing wage was 65K and employee was at 74k when petition was approved for next three years. Now the employee goes for stamping after a year lets say next year in 2021.. and having the salary same 74k, immigration officer is not going to ask him to show new wage level percentiles.. means in 2021 prevailaing wage is 80k then employee need not to have 110K being 45th percentile of that wage, but yes, he should have atleast 80K since that is existing wage… or else how would employee or employer justify that with salary of 75K approved visa in 2020, some one in 2021 is able to called specialty occupation holder where current normal PWD is 80k… hope you got it this itme

          • Need_Info_PERM
            “PWD approved but attorny is saying cant file labor without new prevailing wage update…possibly going to get RFE…”. Did you check if with your attorney or just implying? If that is the case all PERM in the process will result in RFE.

      • “PWD approved but attorny is saying cant file labor without new prevailing wage update…possibly going to get RFE…”. Did you check if with your attorney or just implying? If that is the case all PERM in the process will result in RFE.

        • Not implying, just putting a point. Ask our selves, what and how the wage related RFEs were raised and treated till today?? One must be above the OLD or New percentile range respectively to their filed LCA dates. But wage must be always the prevailing wage.. So here you can go for old percetile of prevailing wage, 17th for level 1 and no need to go new ranges, but yes, the percentile you are taling should always be w.r.t. prevailing wage of the same year and not the current year. I have visa approved till April 23, doesnt mean I can go with old prevailing wages with old percentile range till then. Yes I can use old 17th percentile range, but it has to w.r.t. new prevailing wage when i apply my extension in 2023..

  15. I had PWD approved and my PERM is filed on 8th Oct using approved PWD. As per attorney, new PERM can be filed if PWD is approved before 8th Oct but here it is mentioned that even new PERM needs to follow the new wedge level even if PWD is approved with the old wedge level.
    Similarly, if LCA is already approved before the 8th Oct then new H1B can be filed with old wedge level. Please let me know your opinion here.

    • I referred this…

      Q. I have previously filed ETA Form 9089, which is pending with the Atlanta National
      Processing Center. Does the Interim Final Rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the
      Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States (85 FR
      63872) affect the outcome of my previously filed and pending ETA Form 9089?
      A. No, even if you have not previously filed your ETA Form 9089, so long as you possess a
      valid prevailing wage determination issued on Form ETA-9141 before October 8, 2020, the
      effective date of the Interim Final Rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and
      Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States (85 FR 63872), your subsequently
      filed ETA Form 9089 is not affected.

      • Thanks, Sriram for making it more clear. I think many people will have approved PWD before 8th Oct and in process of filling new PERM. So they should be able to file new PERM.

      • Hi Sri Ram, I too applied 9089 form on Oct5th and it is pending with atlanta processing center, is it effect my LCA, if approved it will be approved by old wage levels rt? please let me know what is the outcome of ur LCA.

    • Hi my h1b extn is due mar 2021 and I have approved i140 as well as certified LCA before 8 Oct 2020. Am I safe to file extn using certified LCA which has wages as per pre existing condition and not new

  16. Is this change final n implemented ? What’s the diff between regulation and executive order ? A regulation cannot be stopped by court?this is very damaging as companies like CTS infy wipro tcs cannot even offer wage level 1 people below manager position.

    • That is what they want . Entry level should be local americans the main intention of H1B was bringing workers who are super expert with 8 plus years experience who are eligible for EB2 green card with masters degree under experienced and skilled category . Non master degree with 12 plus years . In Eb2 what we did ? No masters or people with 5 plus years went and sat

      • Its complicated with H1B visa. They made it so vague and Indians did make the best use of it. Not sure how much of the new regulation will stick after the lawsuits are filed.

    • consulting firms are already reducing their dependence on H1B. They are hiring more locals as it will be cheaper over hiring an H1B with the revised wage levels. The goal is to discourage employers from hiring foreign workers on low salaries.

      • Not true, Its only on the paper. Outsourcing companies have been misusing the H4 EADs now. With almost no experience , no need for fake resumes , because the companies themselves modify the resume and submit to the client. Anything is possible with Outsourcing companies. Commendable regulation from DOL/DHS. Hope the courts will uphold the regulation.

  17. Hi,

    I got selected from the H1B lottery this year (April) and my lawyer submitted my petition on June 24th. I got the notice of receipt but it’s still pending (“Case was received”). Does this change also impact on my case? I was already worried about the approval because my salary is even below the previous prevailing wage level 1. If this change will impact on my case, it will be definitely denied I think… Do you have any advice or opinion on my case?

    Thank you

    • Yes, it does. it does not makes sense that it applies to non-profit org too esp np healthcare and research institutions. No way they will be able to pay so much. If those for -profit org are questioning this, i dont know how will not- for- profit can pay so much.

  18. For new wage table, do employers need to raise the existing employees with currently valid long term visa applicant wages to match new level?? For example employee A is in county where prevailing wage is 65k and his wage is 74k and that looks like 17th percentile. The new prevailing wage is now 80k but employee has valid visa and LCA approved till 2023. Does employer need to meet his salary range to new wage min level ??

    • Employer has to pay new wage levels when they are failing new labor applications for extensions or new Visas from today.. so in the case you mentioned, till 2023 employer can keep the current salary…
      Remember privileging wages are going to be reviewed every year like before, hence by 2023 prevailing wage levels may raise from todays new level.

  19. Hi,

    I am currently in USA. I initially came as consultant and had visa till Sep 2020. Later I got a full time (different employer) which came along with extension and my new i979 has expiry date till Aug 2022. Last year I went to india but did not go for stamping. While entering to USA, I got I94 till Aug 2022.

    Now, My visa in my passport expired on Sep 2020 (last month). I know I can stay in USA until my i797 & I94 is valid. However due some medical urgency, I am planning to visit india this year end.

    1) Since my visa in passport expired, I cannot reenter to USA without new stamping, correct?
    2) If yes, am I eligible for dropbox and if yes, how long I am eligible?
    3) Is the embassy in Chennai open for dropbox?
    4) How probable that embassy will reject dropbox and ask me to come for an interview?

    • 1) Since my visa in passport expired, I cannot reenter to USA without new stamping, correct?
      2) If yes, am I eligible for dropbox and if yes, how long I am eligible?
      Yes, you are eligibl for drop box until 1 year from your visa expiry date
      3) Is the embassy in Chennai open for dropbox?
      I guess yes, I got drop box stamped i Hyderabad two times earlier
      4) How probable that embassy will reject dropbox and ask me to come for an interview?
      it’s very rare. Most of the drop boxes result into visa an d you can collect your passport by hand in OFC. You got OFC and give your thumbprints and within 5 days you will get a message to collect your passport at OFC.

  20. Hi,

    My H1-B registration just got picked up in the 2nd lottery (mid August) and my company hasn’t sent the petition yet, they might be sending it next week. Is it going to affect my application?

    • I believe It should not effect you if you company has lodged the LCA with old pay grade by yesterday. If not, they have to file the LCA with new pay grade from today.

  21. Hi Kumar,

    I think it’s too early to make any decision, but just wanted to know your opinion related to this wage rates increments. Would you think any lawsuit fight for us? these wage rates are not even manageable to most of the IT companies, doesn’t matter where they are located geographically.

    Could you please throw some light here, so upcoming H1 extension holders can get some breath.

    • Nope, I think.. new rules will effect for the people who is going to lodge the new applications or about to renew the applicaitons

  22. If employer had filed previous H1b with wage 1 and while extension can they downgrade it to wage 1 if they do not want to pay wage 2 but still want to keep same employee? Also, another question is does the prevailing wage be a combination of salary, bonus, and other benefits?

    • Thats complex thing.. Levels are defined based on your role and responsibilities and exp etc. now Its hard for company to justify that they are lowering your level, lead to high changes rejection of application. as when time passes you gain experience and your levels should raise, but should not go down. Prevailing wages is the base pay company offer you. New levels of Pays are already updated in LCA site. go and check out for your code in your area. I am sure you stumbled to see the way L2 pays are raised from previous ones.

  23. Will this new system be challenged in the court? Is it possible that the court will block this new regulation and go back to the old system?

  24. No way this is going to affect only 30% of the applicants. This is probably going to affect atleast 70-75% of all the applicants.

  25. I have a visa approved and stamped until Dec 2021, but I am still in India. Does this new wage level will affect me or it is only for new H1B’s?

  26. Reading this article, I feel the impact has a chain reaction as follows –
    1 ) H1-B employers have to start paying more wage to their employees in order to maintain the NEW prevailing wage level.
    2) H1-B employees have to upgrade their skill levels, knowledge and expertise so that their employers are able to justify the wage they have to provide and satisfy prevailing wage criteria.
    3) H1-B employees have to be more valuable, profitable, good revenue generating for their employers so that they retain can retain employees and confidentally file LCAs and PERMs for them.

    • Girish,
      yes, valid points. The bigger issue is, are employers willing to pay such a high premium wage for H1B workers, when they can get someone else with similar skills for a lower wage.

      • I feel employers have to pay higher wages. If they can’t pay, then they have to keep Wage level 1 and level 2 employees only, then they will be questioned “why are you keeping that many Level 1 and 2 wage workers saying that they are of specialized skill while their wages do not show that they are specialized?”

        • For a long period of time, tech companies hired H1B workers by giving the justification that they were not able to find candidates in USA with skills and talent that they are looking for.

          If the above fact is true, companies will raise the salary. If not, we will see H1B workers being replaced in the near future.

  27. My employer has been filing H1B renewals at wage level 4. But 67th percentile to 95th percentile is too big of a jump, and I no longer fall under wage level 4.

    While being with the same employer, can we file the H1B renewal at wage level 3?

    • Anonymous,
      Well, you will be still wage level of 4, but the salary they have to pay will need to be high.
      The wage level depends on the position that is offered to you.

      • With the existing scheme my wage was at level 4
        With the new scheme my wage will be at level 3

        Assuming that the employer keeps my salary constant at renewal time what would the employer need to do?

        A) File with the same salary at level 3 for the same position
        B) End my current position and hire me for a new position at same salary at level 3?

        • I think thats complex one to answer for this blog members. Only lawyer can give right approach. based on your levels , I think there are possibilities to work out unlike moving from L2 to L1.

  28. I just arrived in the US last Feb on H1b and on wage level 2. Also, my employer is currently talking to his lawyers to process my PERM/GC so this means we are affected with this, correct? So, this means we need to adjust the wage accordingly before we submit everything because of the new adjustment on the prevailing wage level.

  29. If some one was at Level 3 wage (lets say 90k in Texas) as per current/older DOL numbers now they will have to be Level 4 (105k) when they apply for extensions?

      • Is there a table which shows how many years of experience comes under which wage level?

        For eg. Wage Level 1 : 0-2 yrs exp
        Wage Level 2: 2-4 yrs exp

        Some thing like that?


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