Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.


What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel

What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel

Presented By


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.

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:

What International Scientists Should Know about Immigration and Travel

Liqin Ban (Liqin Ban PLLC) and Yelena Bernadskaya (NYC Postdoc Coalition)


New York Academy of Sciences. "Our Commitment to Science & Scientists from Around the World". Immigration and Citizenship.

Text: President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration, New York Times, March 6, 2017.

Kulish, Nicholas, Vivian Yee, Caitlin Dickerson, Liz Robbins, Fernanda Santos and Jennifer Medina, "Trump's Immigration Policies Explained," New York Times, Feb, 21, 2017.


Liqin Ban

Liqin Ban PLLC
website | publications

Liqin Ban is the principal attorney of the Law Office of Liqin Ban PLLC in New York City. She represents corporations and individuals from around the world in a variety of immigration matters, including business and family immigration.

Ban has obtained numerous green card approvals, with particularly emphasis on EB-1A, EB-1B, and NIW class cards. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ban worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a scientific researcher and has authored research papers published in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ban received her JD at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, MA in biochemistry from Boston University, MS in cell biology from the Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, and BS in biology from Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China.  Ban is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and New York City Bar Association.

Yelena Bernadskaya, PhD

NYC Postdoc Coalition, Board of Directors
twitter | publications

Yelena Bernadskaya is a postdoctoral researcher in the biology department at New York University. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of cardiac progenitor migration and polarity during the embryonic development of the sea squirt. Bernadskaya received her PhD in genetics and developmental biology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Rutgers. She is one of the founding members of the New York City Postdoctoral Coalition, a postdoc-led group that promotes career development, welfare, and advocacy for early career researchers. She is also a board member of Future of Research, and an organizer for New York City Skeptics. She works to promote science education, critical thinking, and science communication among the general public.