The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule which adopts, with a few changes, the interim final rule of October 8, 2020, amending the regulations pertaining to permanent labor certifications (PERMs) and Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) to incorporate changes to the computation of prevailing wage levels. The rule is slated to go into effect on March 15, 2021, however, this effective date may be delayed as President-Elect Biden has indicated that his administration would be issuing directives upon taking office delaying implementation of “midnight regulations” (i.e., regulations issued since the election, but not yet effective) for 60 days. The final rule is also likely to be challenged in federal court. The new rule would significantly increase prevailing wages for a number of occupations which, in turn, would affect multiple nonimmigrant and permanent immigration programs, including H-1B and PERMs. Based on the DOL’s attempted immediate implementation of the October 8th interim rule last Fall, many employers sponsoring foreign workers have already been considering alternative wage surveys for PERMS and H-1Bs as paths to certifications by the DOL. Importantly, the government’s own Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) database remains the DOL’s preferred data source for PERMs and LCAs, which means that use of alternative wage surveys is likely to be challenged by certifying officers. Consult your immigration attorneys regarding the best prevailing wage strategies for your nonimmigrant and permanent immigration cases.