The federal Department of Labor said on December 12 that it will postpone the implementation of the new regulations issued during the Trump administration to increase the prevailing wage for H1B work visas and professional immigrants (prevailing wage) in order to have sufficient time to consider the legal and policy issues involved in the new regulations and to receive public comments; the final rule will extend the effective date by 18 months to November 2022. The final rule extends the effective date by 18 months to November 2022.
The Trump administration first issued interim regulations (interim final rule) last October to “Strengthen Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” (Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States). and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States), which requires an increase in the current wage rates for the four wage regulation classifications; a few days before he left office, he issued final regulations requiring the gradual implementation of the new rules from July of this year to June 30, 2022.
Currently H1B work visa applications, or professional immigration EB2, EB3 PERM labor certification applications, the required wage standards are based on the Department of Labor Occupational Employment Data Survey (OES), through the OES survey to obtain the current annual prevailing wage range for each occupation in each region, and then divided into four levels, the first standard is higher than 17% of the year’s local peer wages, the second is higher than 34%, the third is higher than 50%, and the fourth level is higher than 67%; the new rule raises the wage rates for these four levels to 45%, 62%, 78% and 95%.
Biden has postponed the implementation date of the rule twice since taking office, this time directly postponing it for 18 months to November 14, 2022, stating that sufficient time is needed to fully consider the legal and policy issues involved in the regulation and to give the public an opportunity to voice their opinions on the way to determine the wage rate; the Department of Labor also needs time to calculate and validate prevailing wage data for different jobs in different regions and to enhance public science to ensure that any changes to the prevailing wage standards can be carried out effectively and in an orderly manner.
After the Trump administration earlier proposed a new regulation to adjust upward, many industry groups had filed judicial challenges, and these lawsuits are still ongoing; after the release of the final regulations to delay implementation on the 13th, the public can submit comments to the Federal Register (federal register), details: https://bit.ly/3oa895P.