U.S. employers who sponsor foreign workers in specialty occupations under the H-1B visa must follow the current wage levels and rules for roughly the next two years. A regulation for raising the prevailing wage rates for Green Card and H-1B visa holders was to take effect on 14th May 2021. Still, the Department of Labor has further delayed the rule’s implementation by 18 months, until 14th November 2022.
The transition to new wage levels will begin in a phased manner on 1st January 2023. The Trump administration had introduced a rule for increasing wages for H-1B workers and U.S. Green Card holders across skill levels. However, the law provided for a transition period that would unfold over multiple years. The earlier rule, which was introduced in October 2020, had a steeper wage hike and was struck down by district courts in the USA because it did not follow the public notice and comment requirements.
The current rule, which has been delayed, states that the entry-level wages for H-1B workers and PERM Labor Certification cases, which are currently in the 17th percentile, will be increased to the 35th percentile of salary appropriate geographic location and occupation. It is slightly higher than the current minimum wage rates for skill level 2.
The extended delay in implementing this rule is good news for those who wish to work in the USA, as Increasing wages could discourage U.S. employers from recruiting foreign talent. It will make it difficult for these employers to fill skill gaps, especially in medical, technology, and research fields. It will also discourage international students, as entry-level hiring will become more complex.
Critics of the H-1B visa program have alleged that employers use this pathway to hire cheap foreign labor. The delay will allow the Department to thoroughly analyze these issues and validate existing wage data for specific jobs and regions. If you are interested in working overseas, you can pursue lawful immigration with professional support by seeking the guidance of seasoned consultants – call 8595338595 or write to [email protected].