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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 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  4. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

7 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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