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DOL Will Attempt to Raise Minimum Wage Requirements for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM Programs

22 Sep

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is in the process of reviewing a draft regulation submitted by the Department of Labor (DOL) that is expected to revise wage level methodologies and requirements for the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM labor certification application programs. The PERM labor certification application is the first step in the three-step permanent residence (green card) process. 

While the specific details of the new rule have yet to be released, it is anticipated that the new rule could increase minimum wage requirements, introduce a more restrictive definition of a “specialty occupation”, and impose further limits on conducting work at third-party work sites.  

The OMB generally has up to ninety days to complete its review of DOL regulations but could potentially expedite the approval in light of the Trump Administration’s policy goals on employment-based immigration. Once the OMB’s review is complete, the regulation would be issued as an interim final rule, meaning it could take effect immediately upon publication, without the usual public comment and implementation period. There remains the possibility that the new rule changes will be impacted by litigation which may delay the implementation of the changes. 

Given the high stakes for employers and the unavailability of public feedback, the new interim final rule is expected to be challenged in court as soon as it is introduced.   

Foster will continue to monitor developments and will provide an update when the interim final rule is published and will make additional updates available via our firm’s website at  www.fosterglobal.com.