Prevailing wage for the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs
A little background on the FLC prevailing wage…
The flc prevailing wage is required by employers who file PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, H-2b and E-3 employment-based petitions.
The requirement to pay prevailing wages as a minimum is true of most employment based visa programs involving the Department of Labor.
In addition, the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs require the employer to pay the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid by the employer to workers with similar skills and qualifications, whichever is higher.
For the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs, employers have the option of using one of three wage sources to obtain the prevailing wage:
(1) requesting a prevailing wage from the NPWC;
(2) using a survey conducted by an independent authoritative source; or
(3) using another legitimate source of information.
Obtaining the prevailing wage from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC)
By obtaining the prevailing wage from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC), H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 employers are given “safe-harbor status,” meaning that if the employer’s wage compliance is investigated for any reason, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor will not challenge the validity of the prevailing wage as long as it was applied properly (i.e., correct geographic area, occupation, and skill level).
The downside to using the NPWC is that they take over 3 months to issue the prevailing wage determination after the employer files the prevailing wage request (ETA 9141) via electronic filing.
The NPWC uses the Prevailing Wage Determination Policy Guidance in issuing wage determinations for the Nonagricultural Immigration Programs.
The Department released guidance in November 2009 following the publication of the H-2B regulation and the corresponding changes to PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C and E-3 regulations that affected the prevailing wage determination process.
To read the Prevailing Wage guidance, please click here.
You will be presented with a 36 page pdf that explains the methodology used by the NPWC to make the prevailing wage determination.
Obtaining the prevailing wage from the flc data center
A faster way of obtaining the prevailing wage for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas is to visit https://flcdatacenter.com/.
By using the search wizard you enter the State where the employment will occur, click next, then enter the County where the employment will occur, then select the appropriate occupation from the list provided.
You will then be taken to the FLC Wage results page where you will be presented with 4 wage levels.
Toward the bottom of the results page you will be presented with the following instructions:
For information on determining the proper occupation and wage level see the new Prevailing Wage Guidance on the Skill Level page.
Clicking on the Skill level page presents you with a link to the above mentioned 36 page pdf named Prevailing Wage Determination Policy Guidance for Nonagricultural Immigration Programs; Revised November 2009 (Includes appendicies A and B) that explains the methodology used by the NPWC to make the prevailing wage determination.
A better way of obtaining the prevailing wage
After seeing frustration from employers who try to figure out the correct wage level we decided to build an application that determine the correct prevailing wage based on the user’s inputs.
The inputs are:
Work location zip code or county
Minimum Education level required for the position
Minimum Work Experience required for the position
Supervision of subordinate workers
Our prevailing wage tool, found here: https://immigrationofficesolutions.com/prevailing-wage-tool/ drastically improves the speed and accuracy of obtaining the prevailing wage.
We developed our prevailing wage tool to speed up and improve the process of determining the prevailing wage for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 Visa and PERM foreign labor certification petitions.