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Is This a Problem for My H-1B Status Renew or DOL?

Hi William:

After in H-1B visa for almost 3 years, I need to renew my H-1B status soon. I just realized that my salary on the last year end W2 form does not match with my previous Labor Certification Application (LCA) and H1B petition. Is this a problem for my H-1B status renew or DOL rule violation?


For H-1B renew, alien employee should look at their H1B employees' year-end gross wages to see if there is a discrepancy between the wages actually paid and wages listed in the Labor Certification Application (LCA) and H1B petitions. While the DOL does not consider a W2 to be conclusive proof of payment of the required wages, checking the year-end gross wages of each H1B employee is a good start for H-1B status renew. The reasons for the wage deficiency can be reviewed to determine whether there is a potential violation and back-wage obligation, or whether the employer has a valid claim to an exception.

There can be many reasons that the W2 wage does not match the LCA wage. The simplest situation is found during the H1B employee's first year of employment in the United States. Very few H1B employees start employment precisely on January 1st. Thus, the W-2 for that year would not reflect the full annual salary. There can be normal issues tied to pay cycles, as wages are almost always behind by at least a week or two, due to payroll timing. Employers should verify, however, that their payroll systems are compliant with both federal and state laws. 

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