The National Postdoctoral Association is an organization founded in 2003 to represent the interests of the thousands of postdoctoral research scientists and engineers and US immigration policy is of obvious interest to the organization since the institutions employing postdocs are facing talent shortages like nearly every other sector employing skilled workers and professionals in the US.



ILW.com published this week a report from Alyson Reed, the NPA's executive director, laying out the case for a number of key changes to US immigration policy including the following:


a) Eliminate the "intent to return" requirement currently attached to J-1 non-immigrant visas;


b) Facilitate the ease of obtaining a new visa in the same category as
the previous visa for International Postdoctoral Researchers if they
travel to their home country;


c) Raise the cap on H1-B visas for International Postdoctoral Researchers who have U.S. and/or foreign advanced degrees;


d) Enhance enforcement of Department of Labor laws regarding prevailing
wages as required by the H-1B non-immigrant classification;


e) Allow spouses of International Postdoctoral Researchers to work in the U.S.;


f) Establish a new non-immigrant classification specifically for non-immigrant International Postdoctoral Research Scholars.

Ms. Reed sums up the need for reform nicely in her conclusion stating:

International Postdoctoral Researchers represent 50-72% of the pool of
postdoctoral researchers in the U.S and produce more peer-reviewed
publications than U.S. Postdoctoral Researchers.This robust research productivity is at stake and could be lost, unless
an outdated legislative framework is remedied. It is critical that our
leaders in Congress recognize the importance of this unique set of
individuals and work to create legislation that encourages the best and
brightest to continue to come to the U.S. The NPA is committed to
working with the leaders of the federal government to achieve this
goal.