Indians, Chinese account for 47% of international students in US: Report

Washington, DC: Students from India and China accounted for 47 per cent of all active foreign students in the US in 2020, according to latest official figures, which also indicated a significant drop in fresh enrolments from abroad due to the impact of the pandemic.

The annual report released by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) noted that there were 1.25 million active records in SEVIS for F-1 and M-1 students during calendar year 2020, a 17.86 per cent decrease from calendar year 2019.

While an F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic program or English language program at a US college or university, M-1 visa is reserved for international students attending vocational schools and technical schools.

According to SEVIS, there were 382,561 students from China, followed by 207,460 students from India. China and India were followed by South Korea (68,217), Saudi Arabia (38,039), Canada (35,508) and Brazil (34,892), the report said.

SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the US.

Forty-seven per cent (590,021) of all active SEVIS records hailed from either China (382,561) or India (207,460) in calendar year 2020, a slight decrease from 48 per cent in calendar year 2019. While the overall number of active F-1 and M-1 student records coming from Asia decreased by 143,697 from calendar year 2019 to calendar year 2020, student record trends varied across different countries, it said.

The number of students from China and India made Asia the most popular continent of origin. However, China sent fewer students in 2020 in comparison to 2019 (-91,936), as did India (-41,761). Still, 74 per cent of all international students in the United States call Asia home. Other Asian countries sent fewer students including South Korea (-15,854), Saudi Arabia (-15,244) and Japan (-10,897), it said.

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