December 8

Great News For H-1B Visas: Old Prevailing Wages Restored Today

A couple of days ago we discussed the Federal Court’s decision to overturn the Department of Labor’s regulations to increase the prevailing wage for H-1B and other visas.

As you might imagine, we immediately went to the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center’s website at and looked up wages and they still had the ridiculously high ones. We went back yesterday to find the same result. I am sure immigration attorneys’ phones were ringing off the hooks from clients wanting to know what was up and what to do.

Then today around mid-day they updated and reverted back to their previous amounts: about 50% lower than during the short but frustrating time they were lifted. 

And this just in, the second of the three cases filed on this issue. 

Judge Chesler of a U.S. District Court in New Jersey disputed the Trump administration’s contention that the economic facts and the cases it presented showed DOL was justified in publishing its H-1B wage rule without public comment and effective immediately, stating in an opinion issued on December 3, 2020.

“Courts are hesitant to find that an emergency existed, or that a factual scenario posed a real risk of serious harm, and when they have, it has generally involved situations with imminent threats to national security, public safety, or the environment.”

The judge pointed out Covid-19-related unemployment has been concentrated in service occupations, but not in the computer occupations that match up with H-1B professionals, citing research from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).

“Specifically, computer-related occupations comprised over 66% of approved H-1B petitions in 2019. USCIS, Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers,” wrote Judge Chesler. “Those computer-related positions tend to have some of the lowest unemployment rates of all occupations.

For example, in September 2020, the overall unemployment rate was approximately 7.9%, while the unemployment rate for those in computer-related positions was only 3.5%. Sources:

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Unemployment Rate;
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployed Persons by Occupation and Sex.

Further, this statistic indicates that the pandemic did not cause a significant increase in unemployment for those in computer occupations, as the unemployment rate for those fields was at 3% in January 2020, before the pandemic had any effect on the American economy. National Foundation for American Policy, Employment Data for Computer Occupations for January to September 2020.”

So hire away employers! Create some professional jobs in America

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