H1B Prevailing Wage: How to Find the Prevailing Wage and Why it Matters

How to Get the Prevailing Wage and Why it Matters

When applying for the H1B visa, a determination that the U.S. government makes is whether employees will be paid fairly for their work. A salary at or above what is known as the prevailing wage, which is determined by the skill level of the employee and the geographic area where they will be working, is necessary for H1B approval.

 

In this guide, we’re going to discuss how a prevailing wage is determined, and the general process involved with it. If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you.

 

Overview:

 

  1. What is a prevailing wage, and how is it determined?
  2. Why does wage data matter?
  3. The significance of a suitable wage level
  4. Conclusion

 

1. What is a prevailing wage, and how is it determined?

 

As discussed, a prevailing wage is a determination made that a salary is sufficient. But, prevailing wage determinations for H1B petitions are made on a case-by-case basis. The determination is made when filing the LCA (Labor Condition Application) for each employee. When doing this, the petitioner is asked to enter a prevailing wage for a position made by either the Department of Labor, the Occupational Employment Statistics program, or an independent, authoritative source. While there are multiple sources, one used commonly is the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (https://www.flcdatacenter.com/).

 

A prevailing wage is determined from a source such as the FLC Data Center. With the right information, an individual can search for common wages paid to employees by geographic area and skill level. It is mostly a matter of having the right area code and occupational code. The FLC Data Center also separates wage information by the periods of time the data was collected.

 

Say that we want to look up wage results for Computer Programmers in the Los Angeles area. Using data from the Department of Labor, we find out that the Los Angeles BLS code (or Bureau of Labor Statistics code) is 31080. Next, we can either enter in the SOC code (or Standard Occupational code), also using data from the Department of Labor, or we can search for the occupation manually.

 

The FLC Data Center will now let us know the historical wage data for Computer Programmers in Los Angeles. If we’re looking at the data from July 2020 to the present, we see that the Level 1 wage is $65,499 a year.

 

There are multiple levels an employee can qualify for. However, if one is looking for the minimum salary an H1B employee can make, this data can help them make that decision. Level 1 wages are meant for entry-level employees. There are 4 wage levels which progress based on the employee’s skill and experience.

 

2. Why does wage data matter?

 

This guide is not meant to overcomplicate the explanation of what a minimum H1B wage should be. But, to know what goes into making these determinations, it’s useful to know why the data matters.

 

Let’s walk back to the Labor Condition Application. The LCA is mandatory for all H1B filings. So, it’s important the wage is suitable and that the LCA is not denied. Ultimately, the Department of Labor makes the determination of whether a wage is suitable for an H1B specialty occupation. That’s why using a source such as the FLC Data Center makes a difference in whether an LCA is approved or denied, as the aggregate data collected there provides a thorough assessment of the prevailing wage for a specialty occupation and the area in which it is in.

 

The Foreign Labor Application Gateway, or FLAG, is the website maintained by the Department of Labor where an employer, attorney. or authorized representative can file an LCA. Using the FLAG website, a prevailing wage determination for an H1B can also be requested directly from the Department of Labor. The DOL will consider things such as job duties, the skills required, and an area’s economic condition when making an assessment. Generally, though, an approved source can be used in the Labor Condition Application if the area and occupational code are known.

 

3. The significance of a suitable wage level

 

An H1B petition can encounter obstacles if the employer does not pledge to pay a beneficiary the wage level outlined in the Labor Condition Application. Proper filing of the LCA is generally critical for this reason. For instance, USCIS may argue that an employer who is paying an employee more than the typical wage level for an entry-level position may encounter scrutiny. This is because if the wage level rises to that of a Level 2, or “qualified employee”, the data on the LCA is inconsistent. It may lead to a request for evidence, or even denial of the petition.

 

In the event that one is looking to extend their H1B, and they have been given a raise, another LCA must be filed for them, as the new H-1B extension would also qualify as an amendment.

 

4. Conclusion

 

Making sure your wage meets an appropriate level, based on your experience and area, is essential for a successful H1B petition.  We recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney when dealing with this process.

 

If you have any questions or would like assistance with the H1B application process, myself and my team would be happy to assist. Please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I am very responsive via email and would be happy to help you.

Share this post...

Ashoori Law
4.9
Based on 591 reviews
Jamal Albardwil
1695322620
I was delighted with my experience. Mr. Ehsan Ashoori Was a professional, and free consultation meant free and informative. And he educated me on what to expect and do, the likely outcomes, and how to achieve it. I would highly highly recommend this... immigration law firm to anyone needing an immigration law firm.I wish I could give them 6 stars.100% professionals.read more
Sanjeev Bhalla
1695322329
Ashoori Law is a professional law firm with a great team. We had applied for my daughter's change of status visa and they handled it pretty well and we got the status change without any difficulty. I would strongly recommend them to anyone who... wishes to engage a immigration law firm. They will do a great job as was in our case. I'd like to thank Michael and Sergio as well their entire team for the fantastic work work they did for us.read more
Graem Beddoes
1695304265
Very grateful for the help and guidance in getting our E2
Carolina Marmolejo
1695267069
Very proffessional law firm. My husband & I appreciated their attentive, meticulous and detailed work on our case. They always stayed communicated and responsive to us from beginning to end.
Kaveeta Ramnarine
1695263390
Totally grateful to the Ashoori team for their excellent service. They are very responsive and knowledgeable, they go above and beyond for their clients.Special thank you to Attorneys Rebecca McCarthy and Ehsan Mehri for their continued support in... our process.read more
Shyam Chandrasekharan
1695134280
I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for your exceptional guidance and expertise in securing my visa extension approval. Your professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication were instrumental in achieving this success. Your support and clear... communication throughout the process were invaluable. I'm deeply grateful for your outstanding work.read more
Malia Hi’ilani
1695090094
Ashoori Law is a very knowledgeable and thorough law firm, with a great team. They gave me confidence in my business plan by providing a free discovery call to see if it was worth pursuing. Very personable and available for all of my questions or... concerns throughout the process. I was granted my E2 change of status successfully. I would highly recommend them for all of your immigration needs.read more
Israt Jahan
1695005054
AshooriLaw is a great choice for our case.they response fast and very helpful.
Beth Jinks
1694583948
Ashoori Law again handled my green card travel document renewal application professionally, and they accurately predicted the processing time. I've tackled similar paperwork alone before, but have now been working with Ashoori for about five years... because they provide peace of mind that everything is handled correctly. Highly recommend.read more
Chris Lejeune
1694554372
At first I was hesitant hiring a lawyer from outside Texas that no one I knew personally dealt with however I am glad I did. These guys are very helpful and friendly. Their knowledge of my case and procedures was outstanding. 5 stars all day long.
Yuvraj Singh
1694452150
I would highly recommend Ashoori law for any kind of immigration services. They are fast, their process is easy and they are professional. I would highly suggest them handle your immigration cases.
Mazen Hanana
1694034589
Thank you for your amazing services as well as for your prompt response to all my queries.Your professional experience was very helpful in submitting, approving and getting my Re-entry permit
Marina
1693967961
Very great! Love, love, love Ashoori Law and his team. They make you feel like family. This is the team that will definitely get the job done. Very friendly and professional!
Nyoka Bandoo
1693967284
Very professional and looks out for your best interest at heart!
arsalan pervez
1693586652
Hello sir u have watsap number
Mohammed
1693507822
My wife & I recently engaged the services of Ashoori Law for Immigration services, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with their expertise and professionalism. From the moment I contacted them, they demonstrated a deep understanding of my... case and provided insightful advice that put me at ease. Their legal team, led by Micheal, displayed an exceptional grasp of the intricacies involved in my situation. The Ashoori Law team not only guided me through the entire legal process but also took the time to answer all my questions in a clear and concise manner. Their attention to detail and dedication to my case truly set them apart. I am pleased with the overall outcome and would recommend Ashoori Law for their top-notch legal services.read more
ADAMS GODLEADS
1693336498
Before contacting Michael Ashoori's firm, I had spoken to a few Immigration lawyers, NONE was as patient and responsive as Michael. His firm scheduled a call with an Attorney who turned out to be the most efficient and brilliant lawyer ever.... Stephanie DiPietro was simply amazing. The detail in her notes, cover letter and crisp responses to my plentiful enquires mostly done with a smile was always reassuring. I highly recommend this firm as they are worth much more than they charge.read more
Cheng-Ru
1693283955
I had an exceptional experience with Ashoori Law. I hired Ashoori Law Firm to help with my immigration process. They assigned me a dedicated legal assistant, Jeser, and an attorney, Matthew, to guide me through the process. I am truly grateful for... the responsiveness of Jeser and Matthew. They consistently answered all my questions and helped me prepare all the documents for the application. The team's friendliness and remarkable expertise stand out. I highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone seeking legal services for immigration.read more
Anas Khan
1693231831
Michael's firm has been very helpful in processing, filing and taking the Re-entry permit to its successful approval. I needed help as I had to travel due to personal emergency for an extended duration and had a lot of questions with no time to... think. They gave us time and clarified all the questions over call, email giving proper directions. Some of the videos on YouTube posted by Michael also helped me figure out that I could reach out to them to take my application forwardThanks to Matthew, Clara, Milena and all the folks who helped.read more
Alyssa Sanders
1693155918
I highly recommend this lawyer for all immigration needs. They were so extremely patient with my situation and my questions, and definitely legitimately cared about the experience had with them. Immigration can be a very difficult and scary... experience and they definitely offered peace of mind. Very Affordable for the quality of services provided. I would definitely use them again in the future and recommend for immigrantion law needsread more
Fauzia Usman
1692904100
Thankyou so much Michael Ashoori and your Immigration Attorney Shruti Bali and all team member to help me process me and my family case of E2 Investor Visa. It took Approx. 10 months from Ontario Canada. I Never visit IN person to this Firm,... everything deal and process online. Ashoori Law serve Great Professional Service. Highly recommend.read more
Sonia Rathour
1692849803
Ashoori Law Firm has the most loyal Representatives and lawyers who really cares about their client. They always available to answer any question you have regarding your case and always give the best advise for your best.I got so lucky to have... immigration case in their Hand.read more
Dinesh Perera
1692302786
I am so glad I chose Ashoori Law for my E2 process. They handled my case professionally from start to finish. My circumstances were somewhat complicated and needed special attention in order to get me across the finish line. I must state that I was... extremely fortunate to have had Shruti as my attorney handling my case. She was always very responsive to all my questions and cleared my doubts in every instance. All documents were very carefully handled by her and checked over and over again prior to submission, which i believe is the key to getting the E2 approved. Thank you Michael, Shruti and the entire team for a professional and successful job done.read more
Next Reviews
js_loader
Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.