H-1B/E-3 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 in question. University of Minnesota departments must pay an H-1B/E-3 employee equal to or greater than all other employee(s) with the same job title, unless the hiring department provides a written explanation of why each individual 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

Labor Condition Application (LCA)

After ISSS ensures that wage requirements are met, a Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filed with the DOL. The LCA takes at least 7 calendar days to be certified, and a certified LCA must be included with the H-1B/E-3 petition.

As part of this process, the employer must also notify the workforce of its intention to hire an H-1B/E-3 nonimmigrant. For positions covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (union), notification is made to the union representative. For non-union positions, ISSS posts Notices of Intent to Hire publicly. Employees who are working from home or at third party/off-campus work locations must also post the notice at these work locations; instructions for posting will be provided by ISSS when the LCA is filed.

Last updated: June 7, 2021