Student immigration has recovered from lows recorded during the pandemic. 220,525 students came to the US to study in 2020.
Despite the recent increase, the number of students entering the US has not surpassed its peak in 2015, when nearly 1 million (989,795) people came to attend school.
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Where do most immigrant students come from?
More than half of the students who come to study in the US are from Asia, totaling 367,654 people in 2022. Out of all students immigrating to the US in 2022, 18% were from India, 10% were from China, and 25% were from other Asian countries.
Europe was the next most common region, representing about 23% of immigrant students.
F-1 visas are for full-time students at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. These courses must culminate in a degree, diploma, or certificate.
F-3 visa is for Canadian or Mexican national students who commute to the US for school.
There is an “M” visa for vocational students. The M-1 visa includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, but doesn’t include language training.
Exchange students fall under J-1 visas, which cover people who come to the US to teach, lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult, demonstrate special skills, receive training, or receive graduate medical education or training.
Lastly, there are visas for intercultural exchange programs. Q-1 visa holders may participate in cultural programs designed to provide practical training and employment and allow participants to share the history, culture, and traditions of their home countries in the US.
How has the number of student visas changed over time?
In recent years, most students enter the US with F-1 visas, including 59% of students (411,131) in 2022. However, from 2002 to 2008, more people came on J-1 visas. Since 2009, they have been the second-most common type of student visa.