Article Written by: Melissa Winkler
Article Published on: August 8, 2017
The USCIS report found that the majority of 2017 petitions (105,827 out of 336,107), were filed with a beneficiary compensation level between $50,000 and $74,999. The next largest group’s (99,326) levels were $75,000 – $99,000, while those of the third (59,988) was between $100,000 and $124,999.
Currently, an H-1B beneficiary is exempt from additional special attestations that are applicable to H-1B dependent employers if they receive an annual wage of $60,000 or higher or have a master’s degree or higher. In January 2017, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced a bill that would eliminate this exemption and require any company paying an H-1B worker less than $100,000 to show that they could not hire an American for the same job. Moreover, Rep. Issa’s bill was followed by others, including one by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) that would set the H-1B minimum salary cap even higher. While none of these bills have been enacted into law, we find it likely that the minimum salary cap for H-1B positions will increase in the foreseeable future.
Further, the same USCIS memo pertaining to the computer programmer classification also concluded that a Level 1 (entry level) designation may not qualify as a specialty occupation position. Level 1 wage rates are assigned to job offers for beginning level employees who have only a basic understanding of the occupation and perform tasks that require limited, if any, exercise of judgment and that provide experience and familiarization with the employer’s methods, practices, and programs. As companies shift away from utilizing the level 1 wage, we will see compensation trends rise for H-1B beneficiaries.