The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced it will publish a final rule to amend wage obligations for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 specialty occupation visa classifications and for permanent labor certifications (PERMs).

Key Points:

  • DOL posted an advance copy of the rule on its website and will officially publish the rule in the Federal Register in the coming days.
  • The new regulation includes a transition period under which the new wage thresholds will not be applied until July 1, 2021, and will be implemented for different categories in a phased approach.
  • The new regulation is scheduled to take effect 60 days after it is published. The incoming administration has indicated that it plans to delay or halt Trump administration regulations that have not taken effect by the time President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

Background: The agency previously attempted to increase wage obligations for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 categories and PERMs through an Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued on Oct. 8, 2020, that took effect immediately. A federal court struck down the IFR, finding that it did not go through proper rulemaking procedures, and the agency stopped applying it in compliance with the court order. The new regulation makes changes to the IFR, including revised wage levels, a transition period that begins July 1, and a phased adoption of the new wage levels.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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