new h1b visa wage level comparison level 1
H1B Visa

New H1B Visa Wage Level Rule == Higher Salary? (17 to 45th Percentile)

You should know by now about the New H1B Visa Wage Level Rule that will go into effect on Oct 8, 2020.

I’m sure you want to know how much you have to be paid as per the new wage level?

Is it $100,000 or $60,000?

There are four wage levels – Level 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Old Wage levels are based on 17th, 34th, 50th, and 67th percentiles of total salary distribution for a specific job at a specific location.

Current Wage Level used for H1B Visa and PERM Labor applications were set 20 years back. It uses the 4 Quartile method.

“The Department acknowledges that the existing wage levels – set at approximately the 17th, 34th, 50th, and 67th percentiles – have been in place for over 20 years, and that many employers likely have longstanding practices of paying their foreign workers at the rates produced by the current levels.”

  1. Level 1 – 17th Percentile
  2. Level 2 – 34th Percentile
  3. Level 3 – 50th Percentile
  4. Level 4 – 67th Percentile

So, what’s changing?

What is the New-Wage Level Required for H1B Visa?

“Adjusting the levels to the 45th, 62nd, 78th, and 95th percentiles represents a significant change, and may result in some employers modifying their use of the H1B and PERM programs.”

As per the new rule, the Wage Level Percentile is increased.

  1. Level 1 – 17 to 45th Percentile
  2. Level 2 – 34 to 62th Percentile
  3. Level 3 – 50 to 78th Percentile
  4. Level 4 – 67 to 95th Percentile

So, how much do you need to get paid to get H1B Visa approval now?

I happened to have an old screenshot for Wage Levels for SOC Code 15-1121.00 Computer Systems Analyst from 2016 – 2017.

Now, New Wage Level have bene updated at FLC Data Center based on the New Wage Level rule.


Old vs New Wage Level for H1B visa Wage Level Comparison Computer Analyst


The above data is for Computer Systems Analyst located in San Jose, California.

That’s a huge jump!

If you are in the process of filing your H1B Visa extension, transfer or cap-exempt H1B Visa and if your Salary should follow within the specified new wage level.

Question – Do you think an employer in the San Jose, California paying $76,000 for a Computer Systems Analyst filing an H1B Visa extension next week will increase the salary to $117,416?

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I have given one example. you can use the following steps to find your new wages.

How to Find Your New H1B Visa Salary?

Use the following steps to find the New-Wage Level (approximate)

  • Go to FLC Data Center
  • Find the Location and Job title
  • Look for Wages Level

Summary: New H1B Visa Wage Rule

  • Employers need to pay more to meet the new minimum wage level
  • New Wage Levels apply to H1B transfers, Extensions as well
  • Pending Applications (LCA already filed or approved) are not impacted
  • New H1B visa wage levels Effective from Oct 9, 2020
  • Lawsuits may be filed for such a drastic wage level change without any advanced notice to employers

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  1. I checked the wage level in my recent LCA (issued on – 10/15) and it says Dietrich Fall Survey 2019 and doesn’t say any Wage level. Can you please let me know if this is related to wage level. Also, please let me know if the Dietrich Fall Survey wage levels also changed

      1. Thank you Raghuram. Does the new rule apply only if the Prevailing wage source is OES? Or does it apply even if the Prevailing Wage Source is Other source

  2. So the Speciality occupation rule goes into effect from December. I have an approved H1B COS where my degree is Non- software but my current job is in the software industry. I am planning to go for stamping in March/April 2021. Will this new rule also make the visa interview process more stringent/ difficult ?

  3. I recently got an offer from a company. The offer is slightly less than Level-2 wage. I told the HR that there has been an increment in wage levels on FLC and my current experience falls under Level-2. She said that they use private prevailing wage data source and FLC OES has no impact on us. So I’m guessing not all employers use FLC OES wages for filing, some use private PW as well for filing LCA.

  4. To my knowledge, this impacts candidates whose employer files their LCA under OES PW(Prevailing Wage), but there are employers who use private PW surveys for whom this has no impact. You can check your employer’s LCA filings at

  5. What will be the impact for 3 sceneries as below:
    H1B COS in effect on Oct 1, 2020 and started with PERM process.
    1. prevailing wage determination is completed before Oct 8.
    2. Prevailing wage determination request is submitted before 8 Oct but still pending.
    3. Prevailing wage determination request is yet to submit.

  6. My PWD request was submitted on Aug. Will the processing times of PWD requests extend because of this new rule ?

  7. Hi
    My H1B was approved and started from 10/1/2020. I have another offer from employer B and they filed my LCA for wage level-1, it was approved on 2nd Oct. We will file H1B petition on 16th Oct. Will my application be impacted? Please tell me ASAP.

  8. Hi if someone applies for prevailing wage determination in June 2020 , still not approved! That case will be affected by the new rule?

  9. My current wage level (with old standard) is at level 3 but with new standard it will be at wage level 1. My job description (experience and education) falls into level 2. So when my LCA has to be done for next extension .. I guess my salary needs to be greater than new wage level 2, correct?

    Just having salary greater than minimum required (new wage level 1) is not enough but it has to be in line with your job level as well correct?

    1. If your LCA is already approved, then I think you should be able to apply for an extension using the old LCA. Consider yourself lucky or if you think you could have received pay raise?

    1. Two rules were announced – One for Speciality Occupation/H1B and the second one was for Wage Level Increase.

      Wage Level Rule is Effective Immediately. Another rule is effective 60 days from publication, which will be in December.

      1. Some sources are saying its effective 60 days from now and some say from October 8th. Could you please specifically show where it was mentioned to be October 8th on the federal registry website?

        1. Two rules have been introduced.
          1. Wage Rule – Effective immediately
          2. Speciality Occupation Rule – Effective in 60 days.

  10. What is my PWD for GC was filled in July and is in pending as of now. Will I get the PWD based on new rules or the old wage level as it is already filed

      1. I was listening to an attorney and I heard that they may give you a higher wage for the position.

  11. Hi,
    My H1 was recently approved under consular processing. I am currently on Stem OPT. I was planning to convert the visa from consular to COS. With these changes should I still go for it?

  12. Is the applicable for the employer filing PERM and then i140 ?

    Current H1B is valid till 2022 but company is going to file PERM . Will that require new salary ? Pls advise

  13. ‘Pending Applications are not impacted’
    Does the above point apply to pending LCAs or pending H1B? What if I’ve certified LCA before October 8th and H1B filed on Oct 10th?

  14. Is this rule applicable for people with H1B applications that are still pending approval as of October 8 2020?

  15. Company was about to file my extension next week. I am sure this rule is going to get challenged in court. When can it be challenged in court, during first 60 days or only after 60 days?
    And I have around 4 months left, do you think I should wait to file an extension or is it okay to give it a try?

    1. Your scenario is one that I was concerned about. If your Wage level for LCA is higher than your current wage, then your employer either should give you a salary increase before applying for H1B.
      Court Challenge – It can be done anytime (that’s what I think).

  16. Is this applicable to fulltime employees as well? One of my friend said that this is for only Contract employees. Can you please confirm?

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