Prevailing Wage Determination Memos in Cases of Petitions Filed by Law Firms

Occasionally, departments or schools hire law firms to process H-1B petitions on their behalf. Where this is the case, OIA has limited involvement with such a petition.  (For more details, please see our website.)

One important element of OIA's support is the Prevailing Wage Determination Memo that is required by the Payroll Office to place an employee on the University’s payroll. Please note: No H-1B employee can be placed on the University's payroll without this memo from OIA.    The purpose of the memo is to verify that

  1. the source of the prevailing wage figure is the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES),
  2. the Department of Labor has approved a Labor Condition Application (LCA) showing a salary equal to or greater than the IDES figure, and
  3. the approved LCA figure matches the salary shown in the Actual Wage Form and in Part 5 of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

In order to provide a Prevailing Wage Memo, OIA requires legible copies of the following completed and signed documents from the department or law firm:

  • Actual Wage Form from department,
  • Prevailing Wage Determination Statement from IDES from law firm,
  • Approved Labor Condition Application from law firm,
  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker from law firm.

In the absence of any of these documents, OIA cannot verify the facts listed in paragraph 1, and thus cannot provide a Prevailing Wage Determination Memo.  If all documents are available, but salary figures do not meet the required regulatory standards, OIA cannot provide a Prevailing Wage Memo.

We urge departments to share this information with any law firm being retained for purposes of H-1B petitions early on in the process, so that lack of documentation or inaccuracies in documentation do not lead to delays in getting employees paid once a petition has been processed.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact our office.