Labor Department Announces Plans to Change Wage Requirements

In a notice from the US Department of Labor, the Trump administration announced plans to change the wage requirements for the H-1B visa for individuals with university degrees and employer-sponsored green cards, the H-1B1 visa for professionals from Chile and Singapore, and the E-3 visa for professionals from Australia.

The changes were submitted to the White House budget office on Wednesday to review before they are formally published. The rule is to be set as an interim final rule to take effect immediately without public feedback.

At this time, DOL has not released how the wage levels would be changed or why.

Current requirements ensure foreign workers on an H-1B visa are not paid less than American employees. Employers must show DOL that the employee will be paid the same salary as those with similar experience or the prevailing wage determined by the department — whichever is greater.

This rule change is the most recent in a series of efforts to tighten the eligibility requirements for various worker visas. H-1B denial rates have surpassed 20% since 2016. In 2015, only 6% of H-1B visa requests were denied.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to send updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.