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Prevailing Wage News & Updates

Your Source for the Latest Updates on Prevailing Wage for Foreign Workers

DOL's New Changes to Prevailing Wages

September 23, 2022

The Department of Labor implemented major changes to Prevailing Wages based on changes to the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.  The SOC update started in 2018, but it took until 2022 to gather all of the wage data necessary to implement all of the updates and changes. 


The Department of Labor also revised the form used to submit a Prevailing Wage Determination request for all PERM Labor Certification cases.  A PERM Labor Certification application is required for most Green Card cases based on employment, so the Prevailing Wage changes will effect all of these cases.  Every case involving a PERM Labor Certification application must use the 2018 SOC occupational categories and Prevailing Wages as of July 1, 2022.  All Prevailing Wage Determinations issued on or after July 1, 2022 will be issued with 2018 codes and updated wages, regardless of the date of submission.

Prevailing Wage Increase Invalidated by Federal Court

December 1, 2020

On December 1, 2020, a Federal Court invalidated the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Prevailing Wage increase detailed below, finding that the DOL “failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice and comment requirements.” 

Therefore, Prevailing Wages for the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Nonimmigrant (temporary worker) categories, as well as Prevailing Wage Determinations (“PWD”) for certain Immigrant (“Green Card”) categories will go back to what they were before October 8th.  The DOL has changed the online Prevailing Wage libraries accordingly, so that employers may proceed with cases using the previous wages.  Employers who received a PWD with the higher wages after October 8th may submit a redetermination request to the DOL to issue a new PWD with the previous wages. 

Prevailing Wage Increase

October 8, 2020

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Prevailing Wage increase rule on October 8, 2020, that went into effect immediately.  Specifically, the rule changes the computation of Prevailing Wages, resulting in higher Prevailing Wages for all occupations on all levels (there are four levels).


Under Immigration Law, employers must pay certain foreign workers the Required Wage, which is the higher of either the Prevailing Wage or the Actual Wage paid by the employer to other employees with similar qualifications, both of which are based on the specific position and area of employment. By ensuring that these foreign workers are offered and paid wages that are no less than similarly employed U.S. workers, the wage requirements are intended to guard against both wage suppression and the replacement of U.S. workers by lower-cost foreign labor.


Employers are required to obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) with the appropriate Prevailing Wage from the DOL in order to sponsor a foreign worker for the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Nonimmigrant (temporary worker) categories.  Additionally, employers are required to obtain a certified PERM Labor Certification application (“PERM”) with a certified Prevailing Wage Determination (“PWD”) from the DOL in order to sponsor a foreign worker for certain Immigrant (“Green Card”) categories.  Since the rule increases the Prevailing Wages for all of these categories, the result is an immediate increase to the Required Wage employers need to pay to sponsor a foreign worker.


The rule will apply to all LCAs filed and all PWD applications pending on or after October 8, 2020.  The DOL will not apply the rule to any previously certified LCAs, PWDs, or PERMs.

If you need assistance in navigating the process of hiring foreign workers and obtaining the proper documentation, including Prevailing Wage Determination, etc., or have questions, contact us here at Savitz Law Offices today!

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