How many student immigrants come to the US and what countries do they come from? – USAFacts

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In 2022, over 700,000 student immigrants came to the US to study. India sent the most students, followed by China, South Korea, Germany, and Mexico.
Published Tue, October 31, 2023 by the USAFacts Team
About 2.6 million authorized immigrants entered the US in 2022, mostly with visas, rebounding after a nearly 40% decline from 2019 to 2021, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State.
Work was the most common reason for immigration, accounting for 1.1 million or 41% of new immigrant arrivals that year.
School is the second most common reason new immigrants come to the US. In 2022, 701,945 people came to the US as students. This is comparable to 2019, when 728,739 students arrived.
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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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.
China once led as the country sending the most student immigrants to the US, peaking in 2015 with 315,628 students. In 2022, that fell to 68,870, a 78% decline.
Meanwhile, the number of student immigrants from India has increased, rising from 83,621 in 2015 to 126,431 in 2022.
Five types of visas allow international students to study in the US. The most common are “F” visas, or “academic” visas.
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.
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.
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