The prevailing wage is set to be paid to an H 1b employee based on job type or the area in which the employee is working. As you must know, an H-1B visa is provided to non-immigrant workers as a form of temporary work visa, so it becomes vital to protect the US market from being flooded with ‘cheap labor.’
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor (DoL) keep in mind to protect both foreign workers and US workers while operating. H-1B wages ensure that both segments are protected against any kind of exploitation. It ensures everyone is treated equally, and US citizens are not devoid of any job opportunities because of a preference for foreign workers. If you are a foreign worker, a US citizen, or a US employer, this article is a good read for you if you want to know more about the prevailing wage in H1b.
What Factors Affect H-1B Wage?
The prevailing wage H-1B is dependent on two main factors- job requirement and location. The different types of job requirements determine the level of skills and efforts required, which help in deciding the appropriate wage level. Location plays an important role because prevailing wage determination differs from one area to another.
The working condition in each geographic location helps in establishing the prevailing wage levels based on labor statistics for the given region. The prevailing wage in a state with a higher median wage for a given position will be higher.
What is the difference between Prevailing Wage and Actual Wage?
The actual wage is the wage paid by the employer to all the individuals who have similar qualifications and experience as to the H 1b employee in a specific job type and place of employment. It is not the average rate paid by the business to all employees working with the employer but only those who have experience and qualifications equivalent to the H-1B non-immigrants experience and qualifications for the specific job at hand. If there is no similarly employed employee, the actual wage will be the wage paid to the H1b worker.
On the other hand, the prevailing wage is the wage rate set for the H 1b worker either based on occupational classification or geographical area, or both. Policymakers can use current pay levels to set wage and benefit ceilings for local workers.
Why should you understand the Prevailing Wage?
Understanding the H-1B visa prevailing wage will help you in clearing your doubts regarding your working condition in the USA and the wage rates. The following are the advantages of knowing in advance about the prevailing wage:
Protect yourself against exploitation
The listed h1b prevailing wage h1b ensures that your employer pays you the minimum mentioned wage level. It includes both hourly and salaried methods. Being informed about the protocols will assist you in securing your rights in the foreign land.
H-1B employers are required to submit relevant job information such as wage, level, location, and job title to the US Department of Labor. They are legally required to at least pay the H-1B workers the required amount, which is usually more than the prevailing wages or the employer’s actual wage payment.
Understand the job market
The US job market can be difficult to understand for you. H1b wage explains the map of this aspect vividly. Learning about prevailing wages will help you understand the level of salaries offered for various job levels in the US market and will help you decide your future wisely.
Stay informed before applying for an H-1B visa.
Before applying for your H-1B visa, you should be equipped with prevailing wage knowledge. This will not create any second thoughts in your mind in the future.
What are the levels in H1b Wage?
H1B wage is divided into 4 levels based on the knowledge, skills, and experience required for a given type of job. The wage differs at each level based on the specifications required for the job. Level 1 is for entry-level jobs, and level 4 is for highly qualified professional roles. The number of wages increases with each level as the expertise required increases.
Level 1 – The H-1B prevailing wage level one is for the jobs that require only basic operational understanding. Thus, it is the lowest level of prevailing wage. The minimum educational qualification required is a bachelor’s degree or below with almost 0-1 year of experience.
For example, freshers who have recently graduated are qualified for this level. It is entry-level with the minimum amount of prevailing wage. Candidates applying at this level are critically picked only when there is a scarcity of workers in the US for entry-level jobs.
Level 2– For the H-1B level 2 prevailing wage, the expectation from the candidate increases. While Bachelor’s degree is acceptable, at least 2 years and above of experience is preferred. Jobs that qualify in level 2 require specific education and basic experience to develop expertise in the category. It could include leadership roles as well.
Junior executive positions are examples of jobs qualifying for this level. A job requires no experience, but a Master’s degree can also qualify for level 2 of the prevailing wage.
Level 3– Level 3 of the prevailing wage is for the employees who are more experienced and polished in their roles and responsibilities. It is reserved for individuals who have a deep understanding of their job and can guide others as well.
Generally, the high-level management job falls under this category. For example, a bachelor’s degree and 3 or more years of experience can help you qualify for this level.
Level 4– Level 4 is for the top-level job responsibilities that require experience, expertise, and higher educational qualification. As the level increases, the responsibilities and authority also rise.
Thus, an employee qualifies for level 4 only with a relevant amount of experience in the category. Level 4 encourages the hiring of capable foreign candidates for top management roles. As evident, your experience and education play a crucial role in deciding your prevailing average wage paid.
How To Find Out The H-1B Prevailing Wage Information?
Staying updated on the prevailing wage information is crucial. In order to understand your H1b wage level, you have to trust only the specified government platforms. While applying for the H1b visa, you can find out your H-1B level in section G of the H-1B Labour Condition Application. You can find information regarding wage database year, wage level, and wage data in that area. All the information will be available in the mentioned section. To find a wage level with an H1B LCA, you can search for wageH1bGrader LCA if you have your LCA number.
Apart from this, you can also find the required prevailing wage information. You can look for wage rates for any particular position and at any particular location.
The wage rate is normally obtained by contacting the State Workforce Agency (SWA), which has jurisdiction over the geographic area of prospective employment, or by consulting other reliable sources of information, such as the Online Wage Library: http://www.flcdatacenter.com/OesWizardStart.aspx. You can search your wage rate here as well.
How does Prevailing Wage Affect Your H-1B Visa?
H-1B wage is one of the major reasons behind the rejection of an H-1B visa application. When you apply for a job in the US, the nature of the job decides the level of salary. The prevailing wage is set to protect both you and your fellow US workers’ employment rights.
If you are earning less than the prevailing wage in your region for your specific job, then your LCA won’t be approved. Thus, you need to do proper research and ensure that you are eligible for applying for an H-1B program.
What Are The Benefits Of Prevailing Wages?
The prevailing wages law has benefits for the workers, the employees, the business, and even the economy:
1# Reduced racial prevailing wage rate gaps
Racial biases can influence employers to discriminate against hardworking employees and exploit their skills. Prevailing wage law ensures that irrespective of their race, every employee is treated respectfully in financial matters by the employers. It is a step towards promoting inclusivity and working conditions.
2# Encourages better performance
The prevailing wage works as a source of surety for the employees. When you are guaranteed a minimum amount of pay specific to your job profile and location, you tend to work at your maximum capability. It helps in eliminating any kinds of doubts from the minds of both foreign workers and US residents.
3# Supports the economy
The H-1B wage also creates a safe environment for the taxpayers and makes them more responsible towards the states. They work towards hiring the best human resources for the country and providing them with appropriate resources.
4# Lays the foundation for the equitable work environment
The H-1B program ensures that everyone working in similar job roles stands on the same platform. This assurance creates a friendly and productive environment in the workplace. It promotes transparency in the job profiles. With a law that treats both non-immigrants and US workers financially equally, a productive surrounding is established.
H1B visas are only granted to those who possess a unique talent, expertise, or aptitude that is not commonly available in the United States. As a result, the salary level is critical in determining whether the LCA will be approved and the H-1B visa will be granted. Individuals with specific expertise and abilities who will benefit the United States are eligible for H-1B visas.
As a result, lower wage levels, such as H1B level one salaries, are usually only offered when specific knowledge is in limited supply in the geographical area where you are applying. Make sure the H-1B job you’re looking for pays enough to fund your immigration case.
If you want to know anything about the prevailing wage, you can talk to Herman Legal Group immigration attorneys. We have been providing immigration services in the US for the last 26 years and are AV-Rated and have been awarded the designation of “Best Law Firm” by US News & World Report. You are not alone, and we are there to support you in every step of your visa process. Sit with one of our immigration attorneys or consult with them online to discuss your immigration matter. You can set up a consultation with our experienced immigration attorneys by calling us at 1-800-808-4013 or 1-216-696-6170 or by booking online. Most of their meetings with clients and prospective clients are conducted online, via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime, or Google Meet.