Visa Crunch

Chinese students deterred from attending US universities

The number of visas being issued to Chinese students has fallen significantly, to 808 visas being granted to Chinese students between April and September in 2020, from a significant 90,410 visas being granted in the same period last year. This trend is being seen primarily because of the ongoing political tensions between the US and China, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USA is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, study-abroad destination for international students. With over 4500 universities in each of the 50 states providing a range of certifications in a plethora of fields, students are spoiled for choice when they choose to pursue their higher education in the USA.

The rate at which Chinese students are enrolling into US schools has also steadily decreased this year, but this is true for other international students as well. International student enrolment in US universities has stagnated over the past few years, owing to the immigration policy uncertainty, and rising racial tensions. Comparatively, countries other than the USA are seeing a rise in numbers of international students flowing in through their borders, such as the UK and Australia, and other lesser frequented countries such as Sweden and Germany.

These worrying trends are posing a serious question for US universities as well, who can foresee a fall in revenues. The reason for this is the full tuition fees that international students pay, which are almost twice the amount paid by in-state residents in some cases.

For Chinese students, the Trump administration had made it even tougher, with greater restrictions on their visas, and in some cases revoking visas if the student poses a threat to national security. Chinese students and students from other countries have also chosen to study abroad elsewhere because of the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the USA, as the virus continues to ravage through the country. A substantial proportion of international students have even decided to stay home and attend online classes.

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