Thank you for the story "Visa Shortage Highlights Low Pay for Postdocs" by Paul Smaglik (12[15]:12, July 20, 1998). I graduated in Dec. 1997 (Ph. D. in Plant Pathology) and, as a foreign national, I haven't been able to obtain an H1-B visa yet. I am living on my partner's income. I know three other postdocs who have to drop their work in university research and leave the U.S. because they are falling out of status and cannot get an H-1B.

In the department in which I graduated, a postdoc makes some $28,000 per year. Postdocs around here are expected to work 10 hours a day, at least six days a week. We do everything including dishes and autoclaving trash bags. Different from American postdocs, we cannot just take off and look for better employment here because if we quit, we lose our visa. Asian graduate students...

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