Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Population Research Discovery Seminars

Heterogeneity in Migrant Health Selection: The Role of Immigrant Visas

Brittany Morey, Assistant Professor of Public Health at University of California, Irvine

Register for Zoom Seminar HERE

10/23/2020
12:30-1:30 PM PT

This study demonstrates how visa status is an important construct that is essential to understanding how health selection occurs among immigrants. We used the 2017 baseline survey data of the Health of Philippine Emigrants Study (n=1,632) to compare the health of non-migrants remaining in the Philippines and migrants surveyed prior to migration to the United States. Furthermore, we compared migrant health by visa type: limited family reunification, unlimited family reunification, fiancé(e)/marriage, and employment. Migrants reported fewer health conditions than non-migrants overall. However, health varied among migrants by visa type. Migrants with fiancé(e)/marriage visas were the healthiest, reporting fewer number of health conditions than the other groups. Limited family reunification migrants reported more health conditions than non-migrants and unlimited family reunification migrants. I will discuss how the immigration visa process reflects the broader forms of social and political stratification that cause heterogeneity in immigrant health selection.


Brittany N. Morey, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Society, and Behavior at University of California, Irvine’s Program of Public Health. Dr. Morey’s research focuses on how structural racism shapes racial and ethnic health disparities. Specifically, this work examines how neighborhood social and physical environments contribute to health disparities, especially for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Morey received her PhD in 2017 and MPH in 2011 in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. From 2017-2019 she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside.