US holds off on new H1B wage hike

The United States has delayed the implementation of a rule that calls for higher wages for H-1B workers. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 13. This will delay the effective date of the rule by 18 months – from May 14, 2021, to November 14, 2022. According to a notice by the Department of Labor, the additional delay has been proposed to “provide a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly consider the legal and policy issues raised in the rule.” It said this would offer the public an opportunity to provide information on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels covering employment opportunities that US employers seek to fill with foreign workers either permanently or temporarily. There are done through employment-based immigrant visas or through H–1B, H–1B1, or E–3 non-immigrant visas.

The Department of Labor had invited written comments on the proposed rule and received 627 comments. The rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in the United States, were introduced by the previous Donald Trump administration on January 14, a week before he left office. The rule calls for increasing the base wages of the four wage levels under the H-1B and other programs, in a staggered manner from July 2021. This rule would have considerably increased salaries, especially at the entry level, making it harder for students and certain other categories of medical professionals to get jobs at those wage levels.

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