• What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel

    What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel

    Featuring: Liqin Ban (Liqin Ban PLLC) and Yelena Bernadskaya (NYC Postdoc Coalition)Presented by Science Alliance
    Posted March 22, 2017


    In the wake of the White House's executive orders on immigration and related memos from the Department of Homeland Security, changes are likely to occur to the U.S. immigration system—despite recent federal rulings temporarily blocking enforcement.

    In 2013, a National Science Foundation report found that one in six U.S. scientists and engineers is an immigrant—either a naturalized U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or temporary visa holder—meaning any such policy changes could have significant ramifications for the scientific community.

    In response, the New York Academy of Sciences brought together experts to discuss the executive order's implications for international graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists currently residing in the U.S., as well as those who wish to apply for graduate programs or jobs in the country. This information is applicable not only to scientists from the six countries specifically listed in the executive order, but to any international scientist concerned about overseas travel in the near future.

    A 2013 report by the National Science Foundation found that 1 out of 6 U.S. scientists and engineers is an immigrant.

    In this webinar, Yelena Bernadskaya, a founding member of the New York City Postdoctoral Coalition, presented demographic data from various sources on the U.S. scientific community, including the fact that 71% of tech companies that have reached "unicorn" status—meaning those valued at more than $1 billion—have immigrants holding positions at the management level or in product development.

    "When people talk about American science and American work, that doesn't mean that all the people doing this work and moving American forward technologically, scientifically, economically are just American citizens," Bernadskaya said. "This is an international effort that America has been able to use by having these great programs everyone wants to be a part of."

    Liqin Ban, an immigration lawyer with a science background, then broke down key language from the March 6 iteration of the executive order, covering documents and requirements for obtaining certain categories of visas and green cards, and how to successfully re-enter the country after international travel. Ban also laid out a list of reasons for delays in visa processing, which could "actually have more impact than the ban," Ban said. "Delays are now inevitable."

    Use the tab above to find multimedia from this event.


    Presentations available from:
    Liqin Ban (Liqin Ban PLLC)
    Yelena Bernadskaya, PhD (NYC Postdoc Coalition)

    How to cite this eBriefing


    The New York Academy of Sciences. What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel. Academy eBriefings. 2016. Available at: