Search
  • DeHeng Immigration

DOL Interim Final Rule Increases Prevailing Wages

A Department of Labor (DOL) Interim Final Rule (the new rule) which took effect yesterday (10/08/2020) changes the prevailing wage levels for H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1 and PERM cases, resulting in higher OES-based prevailing wages. Specifically, the following shows how much the increases are compared to previous wage levels:

  • Level I Wage: 45th percentile (from 17th percentile)

  • Level II Wage: 62nd percentile (from 34th percentile)

  • Level III Wage: 78th percentile (from 50th percentile)

  • Level IV Wage: 95th percentile (from 67th percentile)

The new rule was published and took effect on 10/08/2020, and DOL will accept public comments for 30 days. The new wage levels apply as follows:

  • H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1: LCAs filed on or after 10/08/2020 will be subject to the new and higher wage levels. LCAs filed and pending before 10/08/2020 are subject to the previous prevailing wage levels. Therefore, for an employee who is currently working under valid H-1B status, there is no need to raise the salary to match the new wage levels. The new wage levels will apply later when an extension petition is filed.

  • PERM Applications: Prevailing Wage (PW) Requests issued on or after 10/08/2020 will be subject to the new wage levels, which means PW Requests pending on 10/08/2020 are subject to the new rule. PW Determinations issued before 10/08/2020 will be based on the previous prevailing wage levels.

As we can see, the OES-based prevailing wage increased significantly: for example, a current level II wage (62nd percentile) is almost equal to a previous level IV wage (67th percentile).


There might be lawsuits filed against this new rule in federal courts. If such a litigation case is filed and if the plaintiff is granted a preliminary injunction, the new rule would not be enforced when the case is being litigated.


In the meantime, if you need to file an H-1B, E-3, or H-1B1 case with the new rule in effect, you can also use alternative wage sources, such as private wage surveys, instead of OES-based prevailing wage levels for LCAs and PERM applications. We are currently obtaining wage data from various survey companies and will be glad to provide an assessment of your case.

Recent Posts

See All

May 2021 Visa Bulletin Updates

According to the Department of State Visa Bulletin, the employment-based Final Action cutoff dates would advance in May 2021. The USCIS has announced it will honor the “Final Action Dates” for all t

Non-Immigrant Entry Suspension Order Expired

Presidential Proclamation 10052, which suspended the entry to the U.S. of certain nonimmigrant applicants for H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visas, expired on March 31, 2021. This means that nonimmigrant