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Minimum Salary Requirements for H1B Visa
April 21, 2022
7 mins
In a blue banner against an American flag background, the H1B - Visa text is shown in bold white typeface

In this article, you will learn about:

  • H1B visa requirements
  • H1B Visa Salary Requirements
  • Reasons why there is a minimum wage requirement for H1B
  • H1B Wage Levels

The H1B Visa & its Requirements

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It serves as the golden ticket for foreign employers to live and work in the USA. The H1B also allows US-based employers to hire foreigners for specialty jobs that require a bachelor's or a master's degree. Learn more details about H1B visa before continuing this page.

An employer should initiate the H1B work visa in the US. For that, they must have job positions for which they cannot find suitable American employees who are qualified enough to do the "specialty occupation." What exactly is this "specialty occupation?" According to the USCIS, it is a job position that requires higher educational qualifications or a high level of specialized skills that only a few individuals are qualified to perform.

The specialized fields for H1B visas include, but are not limited to:

  • Engineering
  • Business specialties
  • Journalism
  • Research
  • Medicine and health
  • Law

The USCIS has requirements that employers and employees must fulfill to be eligible for an H1-B visa. The USCIS expects applicants to:

  • Have a bachelor's or master's degree or a minimum of 12 years of work experience
  • Have deep knowledge and expertise in the required field
  • Demonstrate that they can work in a specialty occupation
  • Be willing to work in the US rather than be involved in doing humanitarian service or pursuing a hobby

Employers must demonstrate that:

  • The job requires a professional in a specialty occupation
  • They lack suitable American employees for the specialty positions

They are also required to file an LCA or Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor (DoL) and state the terms and conditions of the employment contract with the foreign worker.

Another major compliance requirement is the H1B wages. The minimum wage requirement or "wage level" is an important factor to be met to apply for the H1B visa.

What are the H1B Minimum Salary Requirements?

The DOL determines the H1B minimum wage requirements based on the Occupational Employment Statistics or OES Program data. The data is based on:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Experience
  • State local laws
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement or the Collective Union Contract

The Collective Union Contract is a contract between the employers and the employees union that states the various for different jobs and positions.

Also Read: All About H1B Wage Levels and Prevailing Wages

What Purpose Does the Minimum Wage Requirement Serve?

In the US, all employment-based visas are validated and issued under the USCIS and the DOL collaboration. One of their joint policies is that all H1B workers must undergo the Labor Condition Application test to ensure that the job qualifies for the minimum salary program. Generally, the H1B minimum salary exists to ensure that all H1B employees are paid salaries comparable to what their US counterparts earn. The minimum wage level also prevents H1B employers from being exploited and ensures they are paid fair wages for their occupation. The United States has proposed a minimum wage of $150,000 to $250,000 for non-immigrants under H1-B status. However, this will vary according to the type of job and the location.

Now, let's review the various wage levels and their importance as per H1B norms.

H1B Minimum Salary Level Requirements and Who Must Meet Them

An H1B employer is responsible for ensuring that H1B workers are paid the same prevailing wage or minimum wage as a US worker doing a similar job. H1B workers cannot earn less than the minimum wage for the position offered in that area. A higher wage level implies characteristics associated with management, seniority, management, and leadership characteristics associated with higher-paying jobs. Depending on the type of job you are applying for from abroad, your salary will vary.

Here are the various wage levels for H1B visas:

1.H1B Wage Level 1- Entry Level
This wage is in the 17th percentile, and it is for H1B workers who have a basic understanding of performing the job duties.

2. H1B Wage Level 2- Qualified
Level 2 is the 34th percentile, categorizing H1B workers with relevant education and experience.

3. H1B Wage Level 3 - Experienced
Level 3 falls under the 50th percentile. This category has experienced H1B employees with years of experience. The wage level may also include management work.

4. H1B Wage Level 4: Fully Competent
As the last and final level, it corresponds to the 67th percentile and is reserved for competent H1B workers who handle high-level management responsibilities. Employees at this level are also experienced experts in their respective fields.

The Takeaway

The US Department must approve all H1B-related jobs of Labor, and the actual H1B salary requirement must match or exceed the prevailing wage for the job relevant to its immediate location.

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For any further information regarding H1B salary minimum requirements, please visit TechFetch H1B.

**Disclaimer: All H1-B-related information is subject to change. To know the latest updates, please refer to the USCIS official website.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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