In 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule on prevailing wages drastically increasing the four DOL wage tiers of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey for H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 temporary work visas, as well as permanent labor certification (PERM) applications. OES survey has been widely used by US companies for prevailing wage determination (PWD) – a necessary step in permanent labor certifications or Labor Condition Applications (LCAs). USCIS is required to accept “statistically supported” private surveys “even where OES survey data are available.” A private wage survey must be conducted by an independent, authoritative source or other legitimate sources of wage information.
With the high prevailing wages published by the DOL under the OES survey, employers now consider using an alternative wage survey instead of the new OES wages like US MBD-Mercer/Gartner Information Technology Survey, CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand, Compensation Surveys published by independent companies like Radford, Willis Towers-Watson, Culpepper and others. Our experts in specific specialties have helped such applications get approved by providing customized expert opinions on how the LCA/Permanent Labor Certification developed with wage level information from alternate surveys correspond with the proffered position.
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