Despite rising rejection rates, US student visa issuances now exceed pre-COVID levels

The US State Department is reporting that the total number of F-1 student visas issued in fiscal year 2022 reached both a record high and surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

The US issued a total of 411,131 F-1 visas in FY2022. This represents a nearly 15% year-over-year increase from FY2021, and a roughly 13% gain over the FY2019 total.

The US government’s fiscal year runs from 1 October to 30 September, and the State Department is reporting that for year-to-date FY2023, as of 1 August, more than 393,000 F-1 visas have been issued. In other words, for the first ten months of the current fiscal year, the US has nearly exceeded the total F-1 volume from the previous year.

As we see in the following table, just over two-thirds of those visas were issued to students from Asia; that region continues to pace overall growth in foreign enrolment in the US

F-1 visas issued by global region, FY2021 and FY2022. Source: US State Department

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