University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

H-1B &
Permanent Residence

H1B: The Basics

Required Wage

The H-1B and E-3 visa programs are subject to wage regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Employers must pay the H-1B/E-3 employee a wage that is equal to or greater than the "required wage rate." The required wage rate is set by whichever is higher of the "prevailing wage" or "actual wage".

The prevailing wage is an average wage for similar positions/occupations across similar employers in a geographical region set by DOL. The prevailing wage is calculated on a case-by-case basis for each individual position based on a number of factors, including the job duties, minimum degree and years of experience required for the position, other special skills or knowledge required for the position, and geographic location(s) where the job will be performed. The prevailing wage will be determined during ISSS’s processing of the petition.

The actual wage is the wage paid by the employer for the particular kind of work and job title in question. University of Minnesota departments must pay an H-1B/E-3 employee equal to or greater than the lowest wage paid to other employee(s) doing the same kind of work with the same job title, unless the hiring department provides a written explanation of why each individual in the same job classification is paid more based on one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Experience
  • Qualifications
  • Education
  • Job responsibility and function
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Other "legitimate business factors" that are accepted or recognized in the industry