H-1B Wage Compensation for IT Industry

H-1B Wage Compensation for IT Industry

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.[1] 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.[2]  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.[3] As companies shift away from utilizing the level 1 wage, we will see compensation trends rise for H-1B beneficiaries.

[1] https://issa.house.gov/news-room/press-releases/issa-introduces-bill-stop-outsourcing-american-jobs

[2] https://lofgren.house.gov/uploadedfiles/high_skilled_bill_sxs_and_analysis_-1-2017__final.pdf

[3] http://www.flcdatacenter.com/download/NPWHC_Guidance_Revised_11_2009.pdf