Thanks to the H-1B visa, U.S. employers can temporary hire foreign workers according to the Department’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification, and many take advantage of this option. Over the 2015 fiscal year, 1.2 million foreign workers have been employed with this type of visa, 25 percent more than the previous year. Employers come from various industries and fields of work, from IT companies to health care facilities and schools. Colleges and universities usually seek foreign professionals for their language skills or academic expertise that both professors and students can benefit from.
In the state of Virginia, for instance, 32,000 H-1B visas were issued last year and 525 of them were granted to universities. Virginia Commonwealth University employed 64 foreign workers, mostly assistant professors and researchers, Virginia Tech had 123 foreign workers and the University of Virginia had 114 foreign academicians working last year. These numbers are higher compared to the 2014 school year, indicating that international professionals are increasingly sought after.
Nationwide, the university with the highest number of H-1B visas in 2015 was the University of Michigan, 391, followed by Stanford with 368, Purdue (269), Harvard (236) and the University of Pennsylvania (223).
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