Unlike the H-1B Visa, there is no prevailing wage or minimum wage requirement for the L-1 Visa. The reviewing officer has the discretion to determine if the employee would become a “public charge” while in the United States under the L-1 Visa due to a non-liveable wage. In other words, unless the wage is excessively low, the wage cannot be the sole reason for the denial of an L-1 Visa.
- What is a public charge? The government defines a “public charge” as a non-US citizen who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.
- Is my wage consistent with others like me? When verifying if your wage can be considered excessively low, it is best to compare your wage against the industry standard for those employed in similar positions in the area of intended employment in the United States. If your wage is consistent with other reported wages, you should have no concerns. If your wage is well below what is reported in the industry, then you should consider the impact your wage might have. You can make a determination of the consistency of your wage with others in your field through the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center.
While there is no minimum wage requirement for an L-1 Visa, unreasonably low salaries are not recommended. Visa officers will likely examine to see if the candidate’s salary is commensurate to their position and the company they work for.
Additional Outside Resources
- FLAG.DOL.GOV: Prevailing Wages
- USCIS: Public Charge
- USCIS: Public Charge Resources
- Foreign Labor Certification Data Center
We Can Help!
Don’t know where to start? Contact Richards and Jurusik for help with your L-1 Visas.