DOL Republish H-1B Wage Hike

In view of “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” announced by President Biden Administration, DOL is proposing to delay the effective date of the strengthening wage rule until May 15, 2021. They will accept comments for 15 days. The document will be published in the Federal Register on Feb 02, 2021.

Earlier, On Jan 14, 2021, In Trump Administration, U.S Department of Labor announced a second set of new wage requirements for H-1B specialty occupation visa holders. Again DOL Ignored Public Comments and republished final rule. The new final rule comes after three federal judges struck down in December 2020.

The President Biden Administration issued a memorandum with respect to rules that have been published in the Federal Register, or rules that have been issued in any manner, but have not taken effect, consider postponing the rules’ effective dates for 60 days.

The latest change includes a phased-in approach to wage level changes. Unlike the previous rule, which took effect immediately upon publication, the new rule will be implemented in phases.

The new final rule outlines the four tiers of wages that an employer must pay to high-skilled guest workers. Here are some of the highlights

  • The rates are determined by the position and the geographic region.
  • There is a pay raise of about 30% in all tiers.

As per the requirements published on Jan 14, 2021.

  • The new wage levels will not begin until July 1, 2021. Further, once adjustments begin, they will be done in a phased approach, with more job opportunities not becoming subject to the full increase to the new levels until July 1, 2022.
  • H-1B status beyond the six-year limit aka visa statuses waiting in queue for a green card will go into effect from July 1, 2024.

The new rule and effective date will be implemented after the blessings of the Biden administration which will be more clear as we go closer.

Earlier, USCIS published H-1B visas lottery selection would be rolled out by wage level is also frozen.

H1Bwage

The new rules will apply to all types of applications:

  • H1B Extensions
  • H1B Transfer
  • H1B Amendments
  • H1B Change of Status

DOL also called out, after careful and thorough consideration of the comments, the Department has adopted a number of modifications in this final rule to the wage methodology.

H1B Wage Level (percentile)
Current
July 2021
Oct 2020
Level 1 17th 35th 45th
Level 2 34th 53th 62nd
Level 3 50th 72th 78th
Level 4 67th 90th 95th
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