Spatial and temporal analysis of health scientists with H1-B visas in the United States

Aditya Stanam, PhD1 and Shrikant Pawar, M.S.2
(1)University of Iowa, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, (2)Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

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The H1-B program allows United States’ employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in ‘specialty’ occupations which include physicians, scientists, software developers, and others. It is the most common way to bring talented health scientists to the U.S. Given that the Trump administration has proposed policy changes to H1-B program, we aimed to assess spatial and temporal distribution of health scientists with H1-B visas in the U.S. H1-B visa labor condition applications (LCA) data for the fiscal year 2018 was obtained from Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) website. Certified LCAs with following Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC) codes were considered for this study: 19-1041 (Epidemiologists), 19-1042 (Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists), 15-2041.01 (Biostatisticians), 19-1020 (Biological Scientists), and 19-1099 (Life Scientists, All other). A total of 9791 LCAs were certified for health scientist positions by 1661 sponsoring employers during 2018 fiscal year. Top 3 states i.e. California (n = 1447; 14.78%), New York (n = 1156; 11.81%), and Massachusetts (n = 1154; 11.79%) represented 38.38% of applications. The top 5 sponsoring employers for health scientists were ‘University of Michigan’ (n = 160; 1.63%), ‘National Institutes of Health’ (n = 159; 1.62%), ‘Stanford University’ (n = 157; 1.60%), ‘Mayo Clinic’ (n = 149; 1.52%), ‘UPMC’ (n = 133; 1.36%). Temporal analysis of the last ten-year data is currently under way. Changes to H1-B program may affect research organizations that employ immigrant health scientists in large numbers. Therefore, restriction of foreign scientists’ policy may adversely impact “creation of healthiest nation”.

Epidemiology Social and behavioral sciences