India tops China as recipient of US student visas

The number of Indians studying in the United States rose 19% in 2021-22 compared with a 13% drop in the previous year, according to a report by the US government.

The figures came from the Open Doors Report, an annual survey on international students released by the Institute of International Education.

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

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

In total, the US has issued around 100,000 student visas this calendar year in India.

The US issued around 580,000 student visas globally this year.

China, by contrast, fell behind as a result of its strict covid-19 restrictions, the diplomats said.

Quarantine norms and travel restrictions made it harder for Chinese students to acquire visas.

In a normal year, around 110,000-120,000 visas are issued to students from China while that number fell to around 50,000.

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

New international student enrolment shot up by 80% in 2021-22.

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

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

The diplomats also spoke of plans to establish a working group on education and skills as part of the India-US 2+2 Dialogue mechanism.

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