July 26, 2021

Volume XI, Number 207

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July 26, 2021

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Changes to Prevailing Wages and the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Program

The Department of Labor announced a new rule effective October 8, 2020 that changes wage calculations, resulting in higher prevailing wages across all occupational categories. This change will increase the required minimum wage required for H-1B employees and the permanent residence process. The new increased prevailing wages will apply for all Labor Condition Applications (LCA) filed after October 8, 2020 and all prevailing wages issued after October 8, 2020. This increase does not apply to already certified LCAs, approved H-1Bs or issued wage determinations.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security announced changes that will go into effect early December 2020. These changes impact the H-1B eligibility criteria by:

  • narrowing the definition of "specialty occupation" to prevent general degrees (Business Administration, Liberal Arts) from qualification;

  • adding new definitions to distinguish a "worksite" from a "third-party worksite;"

  • clarifying U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services criteria for determining whether a valid employer-employee relationship exists; and

  • limiting the H-1B approval validity period for third-party worksites to a one year maximum.

These changes do not impact individuals that are currently in valid H-1B status but will impact H-1B extensions and new applications.

© 2021 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 281
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About this Author

Kimberly A. Clarke, Varnum, Immigration Lawyer
Partner

Kim focuses her practice on immigration matters, including nonimmigrant petitions, both employment- and family-based permanent residence applications, expatriation and foreign visa issues. She has developed a strong background in the area of worker verification issues and managed clients through internal and agency Form I-9 audits, USICE compliance investigations and civil criminal charges.

In addition, Kim maintains a specialty practice of consultation with agricultural clients and handles various agricultural labor and employment issues such as compliance with...

616-336-6441
Nina A. Thekdi, immigration lawyer, Varnum
Partner

Nina focuses her practice on business and family-based immigration matters.  Her experience encompasses nonimmigrant visa petitions including H-1B visas, L-1A and L-1B visas, TN visas under the NAFTA treaty, and O-1 visas. She also assists clients with employment-based permanent residence petitions including the labor certifications process, EB-1 extraordinary ability, EB-1 outstanding professor and researchers and EB-1 multinational managers and executives petitions; family-based permanent residence applications; naturalization applications; and foreign visa issues.   ...

248-567-7406
Yvonne Kupfermann Employment Lawyer Varnum Law Firm Grand Rapids
Associate

Yvonne focuses her practice primarily on employment and family-based immigration in addition to general corporate matters. She assists clients with employment and family-based permanent residence petitions, including the labor certification process, visas for extraordinary ability, and multinational managers and executives petitions. She focuses on visa processing, waivers, DACA and citizenship matters. Additionally, she has experience in general corporate matters, including LLC formation.

616-336-6373
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