28 per cent drop in US student visas to Indians in 2017

File Photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 13, 2018, 06.14 AM (IST)

Indian students suffered after there was a massive drop in the number of visas issued by the United States in 2017, dropping by 28 per cent. 

As per reports, the total number of F-1 student visas issued to international students plummeted by 17 per cent from 417,728 in 2016 to 393,573. Indians accounted for the largest drop - from 65,257 in 2016 to 47,302 in 2017.

Other than that, the number of visas issued to students from China dropped by 24 per cent. Excluding China, the overall number fell by 13 per cent.

In China, a 2014 change in visa policy allows Chinese students to obtain an F-1 visa for a five-year period instead of one, freeing them from having to renew their visa each year. This could be the primary factor to the recent declines, reports said. 

India and China have the maximum number of students studying in the US followed by South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

The massive decline in the number of international student visas has left some of America's top universities and schools in a bit of a toss. Some officials hold the Trump administration responsible for the move. 

The drop in the number of visas issued to international students can be bad news for schools that have large international student populations. Nearly 20 per cent of the University of Tulsa's 4,400 enrolled students hail from overseas.

The decline in the number of foreign students had started before Trump became president - it came down from 644,233 in 2015 to 471,728 in 2016. The significant drop has is a result of high tuition costs and the state of the job market in the US.

Instead, they are going to countries like Canada, Germany and Australia, which are making it easier for international students to stay in the country after they graduate and become part of the workforce.

F-1 visa approvals were trending higher for nearly a decade when they peaked at more than 600,000 in 2015. But they have dropped off dramatically since.