USCIS and DOL re-issue new H-1B selection process and new Prevailing Wage calculations as Final Rules

Just this week, USICS and DOL issued new final rules that will take effect in 60 days. Before getting into the details of the rules, it is important to note that the new Biden administration has stated that it will halt implementation of new rules for at least 60 days (we do not know if this is added onto the already established start date or is from the date of the order – we will have to see) and may or may not revoke or revise the rules during that period. Also, the rules will probably face lawsuits as well so whether they are actually implemented or not remains to be seen.

A post describing the new laws in detail is here (for DOL Rule) and here (for USCIS rule) if you are interested in a more in-depth explanation. As a summary:

(1) the New H-1B registration policy would allow USICS to select cases based upon the salary being offered (favoring those with higher salaries) instead of purely a random lottery.

(2) the new DOL Prevailing Wage Regulations would raise the salaries at all levels of prevailing wage. However, DOL did amend the regulation a little so the current level 1 (which is at the 17th percentile of the wages) would be raised to the 35th percentile, level 2 (currently at 34th percentile) would be raised to the 53rd percentile, level 3, currently at the 50th percentile) would be raised to the 72nd percentile, and level 4, currently at the 67th percentile) would be raised to the 90th percentile. This means, basically, the new level 1 is almost equal to the old level 2 – that is going to be how much higher wages required under this new scheme will be across the board.

As soon as hear anything in terms of lawsuits or the new administration putting these new rules on hold, we will certainly let you know.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.