The United States witnessed a substantial surge in student visas, marking the most significant annual increase in more than a decade and heading towards its highest single-year F-1 visa total since 2016.
According to data from the US Department of State, over 411,000 student visas were issued during the 2022 fiscal year (October 2021 to September 2022), representing a remarkable 15% increase compared to 2021.
Not only did this surge reflect a 15% rise from the preceding fiscal year, the most substantial non-pandemic year-over-year increase since 2010, but it also reached the highest recorded total in six years.
Canada and UK witness significant increase in student visas
In contrast, Canada issued over 420,000 student visas in 2022, marking a remarkable 27% increase from 2021. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom experienced a 34% annual growth in the year ending March 2023.
Despite the remarkable increase in student visa volume, approval rates showed a different trend. While the F-1 visa approval rate reached a 10-year high of over 80% in 2021, it declined in 2022, with only 65% of F-1 visas approved.
India notably saw an impressive surge of over 43% in student visas issued from FY2021 to FY2022, with more than 115,000 Indian students obtaining F-1 visas in FY2022.
This growth positioned India as a prime candidate to surpass China as the leading source country for total international students in the US, considering that Chinese student F-1 visas decreased by over 35% in 2022.
With the contrasting trends in student visas issued to Chinese and Indian students, it’s evident that these two source markets are moving in opposite directions, reflecting the dynamic shifts in international student enrollment in the US.