India tops China as recipient of US student visas

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The number of Indians studying in the US increased by 19% in 2021-22 compared to a 13% decline in the previous year, according to a US government report.

The figures come from the Open Doors Report, an annual survey of international students published by the Institute of International Education.

India has overtaken China to become the top recipient of US student visas this year, diplomats at the US Embassy in New Delhi said.

They said the US issued a record 82,000 visas to Indian students in June, July and August this year compared to 62,000 visas issued during the same period last year.

The US has issued nearly 100,000 student visas to India this calendar year.

The United States issued approximately 580,000 student visas worldwide this year.

China, by contrast, has backtracked as a result of its strict Covid-19 restrictions, diplomats said.

Quarantine rules and travel restrictions have made it difficult for Chinese students to obtain visas.

In a typical year, around 110,000-120,000 visas are issued to students from China with this number dropping to around 50,000.

The 19% increase in Indian students studying in America was largely driven by graduate students.

New international student enrollments to increase by 80% in 2021-22.

This year, there were only 950,000 international students studying in the US in 2021-22.

Mathematics, computer science, engineering and business management were the three most popular fields of study among international students.

Diplomats also spoke of plans to establish a working group on education and skills as part of the India-US 2+2 dialogue process.

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