H1B - Accounting - Prevailing Wage for USCIS?
I am in F1 status right now and have been working as an accountant under internship program.
My friends have converted their F1 status into H1B this year very easily because the no. of applications is less than the quota (65,000) per year.
So my question is:
1) Where can I find what is the prevailing rate for accountants in Virginia (some specific areas, like Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna).
2) Since October is almost started but the applicants are still less than 65,000, can I apply for H1B this year?
Any help is appreciated!
To add to Scott's answer, I've provided below a link to DOL's online wage library. Also, here are the library's wages for "Accountants and Auditors" for the region including Falls Church:
Area Code: 47894
Area Title: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
OES/SOC Code: 13-2011
OES/SOC Title: Accountants and Auditors
Level 1 Wage: $22.77 hour - $47,362 year
Level 2 Wage: $29.61 hour - $61,589 year
Level 3 Wage: $36.46 hour - $75,837 year
Level 4 Wage: $43.30 hour - $90,064 year
Although the wage library includes some guidance on how to choose wage levels, this can be a complicated process and really should not be attempted without the help of an attorney familiar with this type of case.
The U.S. Department of Labor has an Online Wage Survey that provides prevailing wage information for different occupations in different parts of the country. Your employer may petition for you for a Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B visa as long as the 65,000 cap has not been reached (even after October).
The wage that the employer must pay is the HIGHER of the "prevailing wage" or the "actual wage" paid at the employer's place of business. Prevailing wage is determined on a market survey like the Online Wage Library. Actual Wage is determined by looking at the pay hierarchy within the employer's place of business and looking at what similarly situated Accountants with similar duties are being paid. Once your employer is armed with this decision making information, then your employer can request a "Prevailing Wage Determination" for the State Workforce Agency for a formal determination on the wage based on the duties and educational/experience requirements. This should always be done with advice of counsel.
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