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Locating A Prevailing Wage Survey

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations permit an employer (filing a Labor Condition Application) to rely on an Independent Authoritative wage survey as one of the acceptable ways to determine, and document, what the prevailing wage is for H-1B Visa purposes. A wage survey is acceptable to the DOL if it contains the following ingredients:

Geographic Area

  • The survey must reflect the average wage paid to workers in the same occupation in the area of intended employment. For example, for a job in Boston, Massachusetts, the wage survey ideally must show the average wage for the occupation in the greater Boston area. The daily commuting distance to the worksite generally defines the "area of intended employment";
Recent Data

  • The survey must be the latest published survey for the occupation as published by the source and must be based on information collected within 24 months of the date of publication of the survey and the filing of the labor condition application with the U.S. Department of Labor;
Occupational Focus

  • The survey must be for the same job as that offered. The position described in the survey must be of the same general type offered by the company. Most surveys do not exactly match the offered position, but the connection should be strong enough to lead a responsible person to conclude that the offered position is the same type of position reflected by the survey; and
Occupational Level

  • The survey must contain the weighted average wage paid in the occupation for similar education and experience. For example, if the survey has different levels of qualifications for this type of position (e.g., entry level, intermediate, advanced, etc.), you must use the survey level that best corresponds to the particular job level that you're seeking to fill.

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