Did Indian Students’ Flow to US Increase in 2021?

Children Not yet Recovered Learning From Covid Times

Was there an increase in the flow of Indian students in the United States in 2021 despite Covid 19 pandemic? As per a governmental report, the US recorded over 12 per cent increase in Indian students.    

On the other hand, China that accounts for the largest number of students in the US, saw a decrease of more than eight per cent in 2021.

In its annual report, US Citizenship and Immigration Services said COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect international student enrolment in the US in 2021. It said that the total number of Students and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) records for active F-1 and M-1 students was 1,236,748 in 2021, a decrease of 1.2 per cent from 2020.

F-1 and M-1

F-1 and M-1 are the two non-immigrant student visas. J-1 is also a non-immigrant student visa but mostly given to scholars exchange programs. The report said that 8,038 SEVP-certified schools were eligible to enrol international students in 2021. This registered a decrease by 280 schools from 8,369 eligible schools in 2020.

The report also mentioned that about 37 per cent of Indian students are females.


Though China sent less students in 2021, the country continues to top the list of countries sending students to the US. About 3,48,992 students from China went to the United States. Meanwhile, India sent 2,32,851 students.

China and India are followed by South Korea (58,787), Canada (37,453), Brazil (33,552), Vietnam (29,597), Saudi Arabia (28,600), Taiwan (25,406), Japan (20,144) and Mexico (19,680).

The report said that International F-1 and M-1 students came from every continent other than Antarctica and from more than 224 countries and territories.

California hosted 2,08,257 international students, the largest percentage of international students (16.8 per cent) of any US state. There were 2,40,479 active exchange visitors in the United States in 2021 compared to 2,56,944 active exchange visitors in 2020, it said.

Most F-1 and M-1 students come to the United States to take part in the higher education system. In 2021, roughly 92 per cent of all F-1 and M-1 students were enrolled in a SEVP-certified associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral program.


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