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The Importance of Meeting the Prevailing Wage Requirement in the PERM Labor Certification Process

One of the requirements that must be met before an employer can file a PERM application on behalf of a beneficiary is obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD).

The prevailing wage rate is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment. The Department of Labor (DOL) issues a PWD based on the specific position, job duties, requirements for the position, the area of intended employment, travel requirements (if any), among other things.

The prevailing wage is the rate the employer must at least offer the permanent position at. It is also the rate that must be paid to the employee once the green card is received. 

Meeting the prevailing wage requirement is a crucial component of the PERM Labor Certification process. Here are some reasons why meeting the prevailing wage requirement is important:

  1. Legal requirement: The DOL requires employers to pay foreign workers at least the prevailing wage for their specific occupation and area of intended employment. Failure to meet this requirement can result in a denial of the PERM application.
  2. Ensuring fair compensation: The prevailing wage requirement helps to ensure that foreign workers are compensated fairly. This helps to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers.
  3. Protecting U.S. workers: The prevailing wage requirement also helps to protect U.S. workers by ensuring that foreign workers are not being hired at lower wages, which can depress wages for U.S. workers in the same occupation and area of intended employment.

In sum, meeting the prevailing wage requirement is not only a legal requirement but also an important step in ensuring fair compensation for foreign workers and protecting U.S. workers.

Because the U.S. immigration system can be tricky to navigate, it is always best to contact a qualified immigration attorney to help come up with the proper solution for each individual case.

By: Camille Joson

Camille Joson is a Senior Associate Attorney in Reddy Neumann Brown PC’s PERM Labor Certification Department, where she assists clients in the beginning stages of the green card process.