In some immigration cases (such as H-1b non-immigrant status and PERM labor certification for permanent residence), the employer is required to pay at least the prevailing wage for the position. The Department of Labor consults its own survey (the Online Wage Library) for the prevailing wage. However, the OWL lacks wage data for some occupations, such as physicians. Where there is no data, the survey indicates “N/A” across all four levels of the wage survey.

When OWL lacks leveled wages for professional position, DOL uses a default prevailing wage which is $90 per hour or $187,200 annually for physicians. If the position does not pay that amount (or if the position will not pay that in the future, in the case of a labor certification case which is for prospective employment), employers may use an alternative survey if it meets the Department of Labor guidelines. There are various surveys, but some of them used for physicians include: (1) Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), The Survey Group, and the Alien Prevailing Wage Determination, Inc. (APWD).