F-1 Student Visa Denials on Rise, Report Finds

United States North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Jun 07, 2024

US visa rejection

Many international students planning to study in the United States were denied F-1 visas in recent years, especially between 2015 and 2022, a new report has found.

The report released last month by Shorelight, an advisor that connects international students with US universities, revealed that F-1 student visa rejections sharply increased in this eight-year period, mainly in Africa, South Asia, and areas in the Middle East.

Of these nations, most visas between 2015 and 2022 were denied for students from African countries. In other words, the visa denial rate for this group remained the highest.

In 2022, F-1 visas were also denied to students from other countries around the world, except Australia, China, Brazil, and South Africa, Erudera.com reports.

“The African continent has, by far, the highest visa denial rate than any other world region, and it is steadily rising…In 2015, Africa had a visa denial rate of 44 percent as compared with 30 percent for students from Asia, and a low of 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, for students from South America and Europe,” Shorelight’s report reads.

From 44 percent in 2015, the number of rejected visas for African students increased to 54 percent in 2022, to 36 percent for Asian students, and just 9 percent for students from Europe.

However, a notable shift for students from South America was reported, with visa denials more than doubling within the same timeframe.

The report points out that due to current immigration policies, the United States will lose the opportunity to invest in African students who, in a few years, will make up approximately half of the world’s youth population.

“By 2030, young Africans will constitute nearly half the world’s youth population. Immigration policies that contribute to these patterns of visa denials are missed opportunities to invest in the diverse talents of African students pursuing US higher education and their enormous growth potential in tomorrow’s global economy,” the report warns, adding that African youth is expected to total 1.1 billion by 2050.

Commenting on these findings, Shelley Landry, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Shorelight, said the report clearly shows that visa denials are causing a loss of international students to global competitors. Landry added the US should improve its visa policies to welcome talented international students.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services emphasizes that international students are allowed to enter the US on an F-1 visa for full-time study at an accredited college, university, high school, elementary school, or other academic institution.

Read Also:

>> US F-1 Student Visas Surge to Over 393,000 This Fiscal Year

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