DOL Rule to Raise H1B, PERM Wage Minimums – Withdrawn

On Sep 30,2020, US Department of Labor has withdrawn the planned rule on H1B, PERM wage levels that was set in Interim Final Stage. There is no further clarity provided. The same has been removed from Regulatory Item in Regulatory Review Dashboard.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a fast- tracked regulation to restructure(likely increase) wage levels and requirements in the H1B, H1B1, E-3 and PERM programs. The details of the standardization remain classified until published. The rule likely to increase minimum wages for the above highlighted four programs and tighten wage requirements for employers.

H-1B wage increase have been long pending for Trump Administration, though the forthcoming rule has not previously appeared on the Administration’s regulatory agenda.


DOL plans to issue the regulation as an interim final rule with immediate effect. This means that employers or public would not have an opportunity to provide feedback before the rule takes effect. OMB review is generally the last step before an interim regulation is published and implemented. 

The rule is being introduced as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward on its own interim final rule with immediate effect on the H-1B program. As we have reported, the DHS rule will change the key definitions of H-1B specialty occupation, H-1B employment and employer-employee relationship, with a likely focus on toughening eligibility criteria and further restricting the offsite placement of H-1B workers. Further H-1B regulatory activity is also possible.

OMB has up to 90 days to review the regulation, but could take less time given the rule’s importance to the Trump Administration. Once OMB clears the regulation, it will be published in the Federal Register and is expected to take effect immediately or shortly after publication. The regulation is expected to be challenged in court.

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