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USCIS Guidance on Analyzing Employers Ability to Pay Wages

A wide shot photograph of an open concept office space with people sitting at desktop computers.

Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

In March 2023, USCIS issued a policy guidance on how to analyze an employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage for immigrant petitions in first, second, and third preference employment-based immigrant visa classifications. 

The first, second, and third preferences for employment-based immigrant visas (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) are separated by various types of employment:

  • EB-1 classification is for Priority Workers. This means you are a noncitizen of Extraordinary Ability, an Outstanding Professor or Researcher, or are a certain multinational executive or manager;
  • EB-2 classification is for specifically someone who holds an advanced degree or its equivalent and/or proves exceptional ability, and can meet the requirements on a labor certification; and
  • EB-3 classification is for Skilled Workers (requiring a minimum of 2 years training/experience, not seasonal), Professionals (requiring a U.S. Baccalaureate or foreign equivalent), and “Other Workers” (less than 2 year training or experience and not seasonal/temporary).

Employment-based immigrant visas require a job offer to show the employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage as of the priority date of the immigrant petition. 

Typically required by regulation, an employer must submit annual reports, federal tax returns, or audited financial statements for each available year from the priority date. If there are over 100 workers, USCIS may accept a financial officer statement attesting to the employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage. This updated policy guidance also adds evidence that employers can submit to prove to USCIS the financial strength of the company. Oftentimes, payroll records demonstrate this.