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Visa Shortage Highlights Low Pay for Postdocs

LIMBO: A postdoc in Deborah Andrew's lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faces an uncertain future because H-1B visas ran out before she could obtain one. During a three-year stay on a training visa, a Portuguese postdoc in Deborah Andrew's lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine began characterizing titin --a gene that codes for a key muscle protein. She may not get to finish. The reason? Her training visa's extension ran out last month. And her efforts to apply for the five-year H-1B

Paul Smaglik


LIMBO: A postdoc in Deborah Andrew's lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faces an uncertain future because H-1B visas ran out before she could obtain one.
During a three-year stay on a training visa, a Portuguese postdoc in Deborah Andrew's lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine began characterizing titin --a gene that codes for a key muscle protein. She may not get to finish.

The reason? Her training visa's extension ran out last month. And her efforts to apply for the five-year H-1B visa have been thwarted. The capped limit on the 65,000 visas for temporary professionals was met May 11--months before the first-come, first-served visa again becomes available at the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1.

Congress is in the midst of increasing the availability of the visas. The Senate has already voted to boost them by 30,000 for the rest of this year. The House...

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