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Indian Students Receive Record 130,839 F-1 Student Visas in 2023, Shows Report

Students from India were issued a total of 130,839 F-1 student visas in 2023, which is a 14% jump from 2022, a recent report has reveals. The study by Apply Board, a technology platform for international student mobility, while analyzing study permit trends in the United States (US) has indicated that this is the second year in a row, Indians received more US student visas than students from any other country. The number of F1 student visas issued in 2023 are 10,000 more than the number of visas issued to the top four East Asian markets combined.

As per the report’s data, the US issued around 446,000 F-1 student visas in 2023, which is an 8.5% increase from the 4,11,000 visas issued in 2022. This was the highest number of student visas issued in a single year since 2016.

For the uninitiated, an F-1 student visa is for students looking to study at a college or university, or to study English at an English language institute in the US.

Growing numbers

The report further highlighted that total number of students from India in the US grew by 62% compared to 2021. In 2023, India was the largest student population in the US, with a total of 199,861 study permits issued (including F, M and J student visas). Indian students received more student visas than any other market in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the US in 2023.

In 2023, seven of the 10 student populations with the largest increases in F-1 student visas issued were from Asia, the report claims.  

Apart from India, which rounds out the list with 14% growth, the rest of the fastest-growing international student markets are all in East Asia, Southeast Asia, or Africa.

Mainland China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan were also four of the largest student markets in the US. However, for the second year running, Indian students were issued the most F-1 visas by a very wide margin.

Engineering rules

In 2023, Engineering Technologies experienced the most significant growth, with a 57% increase, followed by Interdisciplinary Studies at 43%, and Computer and Information Sciences at 34.6%, making them the fastest-growing fields of study among international students. Moreover, Computer Science topped the list as the most-searched subject within the sciences category on the technology platform in 2022.

Favorable destination

As per the report, over the last few years, global competition for international students has intensified. For example, in Canada, an estimated 515,000 student visas were issued from January to November 2023. However, new or upcoming restrictive government policies in other destinations are likely to encourage more international students to choose the US.

A temporary cap on Canadian student visas approved for undergraduates is expected to result in a year over year drop of 35%. In Australia, the cuts to post-study visa durations are likely to lessen students’ interest. The UK meanwhile has already seen declining interest due to the policy preventing dependents from joining most international students in the UK. Hence, while post-pandemic international student growth in the US market has been more gradual than the others, the country’s relative accessibility positions it well for future growth, the report states.

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(Source: Education Times)

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