The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that a company guarantee that if you hire said person, you are obligated to comply with their wage regulations. Those regulations require that the wages offered to the foreign worker must be the prevailing wage rate for that position. The prevailing wage for a job position is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment. This was implemented to ensure that wages being paid to foreign workers do not artificially depress the working wages of everyone else. This also ensures that foreign workers are not exploited through being paid a lower than normal wage.
What is the First Step in the Prevailing Wage Process for an H1-B?
The first stage of the H-1B process and assigning prevailing wage levels is determined by the labor condition application (LCA). Simultaneously, the employer must submit a prevailing wage determination (PWD). The PWD is made by matching the position to the following qualifications:
- Geographic Location
- Required Supervision
Subsequently, Employers are the ones who need to submit the LCA to the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL needs to certify the LCA before a H1-B petition to USCIS can be filed. The LCA must specify inter alia the details of the position, including where the employee will be working, their employment functions, and their wages. The review process is done electronically and may happen within a few weeks.
What is the Next Step in the Process?
After the DOL approves the LCA, the Employer can then file the I-129 Petition with USCIS. Generally, a new H1-B beneficiary may only begin work for the Employer starting on October 1, or the beginning of each fiscal year. USCIS can take up to six months to approve the I-129 petition, sometimes longer. Therefore, it is critical to comply with timing and application deadlines when contemplating sponsoring a H1-B beneficiary.
At The Law Office of Yifei He, PLLC, our lawyer has years of experience helping clients overcome a wide range of legal barriers. We can help you present the strongest possible case to USCIS, thereby maximizing your likelihood of success. With our attorney by your side, you can navigate this process with efficiency and confidence.