H-1B high skilled visas — the most popular U.S. temporary work visa — are often associated with high level jobs in Silicon Valley tech companies. But College Station, Texas has the highest number of H-1B visa approvals per 100 workers over the past few years, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center of data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Table: Axios Visuals

Between the lines: Companies located on the East Coast of the U.S. and in Texas actually use the H-1B visas far more than Silicon Valley companies. The large IT company Cognizant is located in College Station, and it files the ninth largest number of Labor Condition Applications (LCA), which are required when hiring workers on an H-1B visa.

Where it stands: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting this year's petitions for H-1B visas on Monday.

Top 10 metropolitan areas for approved H-1B visas:

  1. New York City: 247,900
  2. Dallas: 74,000
  3. D.C.: 64,800
  4. Boston: 38,300
  5. College Station: 37,800
  6. Philadelphia: 34,300
  7. Chicago: 29,900
  8. Houston: 28,900
  9. Atlanta: 28,500
  10. San Jose: 22,200

Best salaries:

  • The area of Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT has the highest average salary for H-1B workers at $100,200, which Neil Ruiz, one of the study's authors, speculated could be due to its proximity to New York and the financial district.
  • The Seattle area comes in second, which is likely due to both Amazon and Microsoft being headquartered there. An earlier study by Pew Research showed that both of these companies were on the higher end for paying H-1B workers.
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, the area closest to Silicon Valley, comes in 12th for highest salaries with the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward areas to the north of Silicon Valley coming in 6th.

U.S. degrees: There have been some efforts to retain foreign students who attend American colleges and universities, Pew Research points out. San Diego had the highest percentage of H-1B workers with U.S. degrees at 28%, followed by Gainesville, FL and Oklahoma City, OK (27%); An Arbor, MI (25%) and Greensboro, NC (24%).

Go deeper: Pew Research's full study.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - World

At least 50 killed, 3,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. Lebanon's health minister said in televised remarks that more than 50 people have been killed and over 3,000 injured.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

The debate over COVID-19 liability protections

Stimulus talks continue to move slowly, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on whether or not to include coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, health facilities and schools.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the debate, which could reset the cost-benefit analysis for businesses thinking about reopening and employees thinking about returning.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 18,364,694 — Total deaths: 695,848 — Total recoveries — 10,965,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,742,277 — Total deaths: 156,133 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Republicans push to expand small business loan program Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.