Number of Indian Students in the US Increased by 12%, from China Dropped by 8%: USCIS


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Apr 08, 2022 10:25 AM IST

A recent SEVP report has revealed that a total of 47% of the total international student population in the US comprise of Indian and Chinese students. While the international student numbers took a major hit due to the pandemic, China and India still lead in student enrolment numbers in the US.

Number of Indian Students in the US Increased by 12%, from China Dropped by 8%: USCIS

Latest Update (April 7, 2022) -The number of Indian students studying in the US increased by over 12% in 2021, while those from China dropped by over 8%, as per the annual report by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Asia accounted for 71.9% of the total population of students in the US in 2021 with the major contributors being India and China, which accounts for the largest number,

In 2021, there were a total of 1,236,748 active F-1 and M-1 visa holders in the US, which is lower by 1.2% from the2020 figures. US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the parent authority of SEVIS, stated that the Covid-19 pandemic continuedto affect the enrolment ofinternational students in the US in 2021.

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In 2021, China sent 33,569 fewer studentsand India sent 25,391 more students in comparison to 2020. Out of these Indian stduents,37%were female.

Other than China, South Korea (-9,430), Saudi Arabia (-9,439), and Japan (-6,155) also sent fewer students. As per the report, only Asia and Australia/Pacific Islands reported a decline in the number of students enrolled at US universities, whereas, other continents reported an increase alternatively.

Even with the sharp decline and incline trends, China still leads the overall contribution.

In all, China sent 348,992 students to the US in 2021, followed by India (232,851), South Korea (58,787), Canada (37,453), Brazil (33,552), Vietnam (29,597), Saudi Arabia (28,600), Taiwan (25,406), Japan (20,144) and Mexico (19,680).

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Approximately 92% of active US visa holders applied for associate, Bachelors, Master's or Doctorate programs in the US.

The number of higher degrees pursued by international students recorded an increase with 1,142,352, against 1,121,981 in 2020. It is possible that students could have applied for more than one degree due to which they gotrecorded multiple times.

In the US, California hosted the largest percentage of international students at 16.8% (208,257).

In 2021, SEVP certified only 8,038 US schools to enroll international students, in comparison to 8,369 schools in 2020. A decrease was also recorded in active exchange visitors with 256,994 in 2020 and only 240,479 in 2021.

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Source: NDTV

The US has been one of the top destinations for international students who have dreamt of studying abroad. Over the past few years, students from India and China have accounted for nearly half (47%) of the international student population, as per data revealed in a recent study conducted by Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP).

As part of the US Immigration and Enforcement, the SEVP highlighted that over 1,25 million active records in SEVIS have been reported for F-1 and M-1 students, during the 2020 calendar year. The report further highlighted the significant drop in enrolments as a result of the worldwide lockdown due to the pandemic.

In the US, the F-1 visa is offered to those international students enrolled in an academic program or an English Language program at one of the US Universities, meanwhile, the M-1 visa is offered to those overseas students who are enrolled in a vocational or technical institute.

Compared to 2019, a sharp decline of 72% was witnessed in the international student enrolment in the US, the report stated. It further highlighted that the new international students also comprised those who were not enrolled in a higher education program in the US, during the previous calendar year.

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As per the report, a decline of 91% and 72% were seen for new F-1 and M-1 international student enrolment at the US HEIs, respectively. SEVIS revealed that 382,561 students from China and 207,460 students from India have enrolled. South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Brazil followed China and India in the total number of international student enrolments, the report highlighted.

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Among all the active SEVIS records, 47% or 590,021 of the records were either from India or China for the calendar year 2020. This was a 1% decrease from the 48% report in 2019. The report highlighted that even though there was a reduction of 143,697 student records in F-1 and M-1 between the calendar year 2019 and 2020, the trends in other competitive countries varied as well.

SEVIS, the web-based system that records the international non-immigrant student and exchange visitors in the US, stated that the pandemic had gravely affected the international student enrolment numbers in the US. SEVIS records reveal that the total number of active F-1 and M-1 students in the US amounted to 1,251,569 in 2020, which was a 17.86% decrease from 2019.

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