A report released Jan. 29 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations revealed that the intake of India-based students in the U.S. in 2018 is up compared to in 2017.
What’s more is that the Indian students’ uptick year over year is the only one compared to the other top countries, including China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of ICE’s HSI within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, the web-based system DHS uses to maintain and manage information on nonimmigrants whose primary purpose for coming to the United States is to study, according to the report.
A nonimmigrant is any foreign national who temporarily visits the United States to fulfill a specific purpose. SEVP acts as a bridge for organizations and individuals with an interest in information about nonimmigrants in the F-1 students, M-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors’ categories.
SEVP certifies U.S. schools to enroll nonimmigrant students and ensures their compliance with administrative regulations, it said.
Other than Antarctica, F-1 and M-1 students come from every continent in the world, and from more than 232 countries and territories. Asia had the largest number of active nonimmigrant student records (1,165,483), accounting for 75 percent of the nonimmigrant student population, the report notes.
Only South America and Australia and the Pacific Islands saw growth in the number of students coming to the United States during the reporting year.
China tops the number of active students in 2018 with 478,732; India is next with 251,290. No other country has even 90,000 active students, the report notes.
It further adds that 47 percent (730,022) of all active SEVIS records hailed from either China or India, an increase from 46 percent in calendar year 2017 (726,012).
While the overall number of active F-1 and M-1 student records coming from Asia decreased by 22,598 from calendar year 2017 to calendar year 2018, student record trends varied across different countries, it said.
The report adds: “China sent slightly fewer students in 2018 in comparison to 2017 (-147), while India sent more students (+4,157). The number of students from China and India made Asia the most popular continent of origin. In fact, 75 percent of all nonimmigrant students in the United States call Asia home. Some Asian countries like Saudi Arabia (-10,879), South Korea (-6,403) and Japan (-2,138) sent fewer students, while India (+4,157), Bangladesh (+477) and Pakistan (+457) sent more students in 2018.”
Of India’s active student count, 33.5 percent are female, with 66.5 percent are male, the report adds.
The report also stated that it is the Indian students who apply in maximum numbers for science, technology, engineering and mathematics optional practical training extension.
Non-immigrant students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees from SEVP-certified and accredited U.S. colleges and universities apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.
In 2017, a total 49,368 students from India applied for STEM (OPT) while 21,753 students from China applied for the same, it said. Subsequently, in 2018, Indian students applying for STEM (OPT) increased by almost 30 percent. A total 70,521 Indian students applied for STEM (OPT) and 25,843 Chinese students applied for the same, the report continued.