Current trends in student visas issued in North America

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Current trends in student visas issued in North America


For many international students, Canadian and American schools have been viewed as one of the best places in the world to study because of their exemplary academic reputations and quality of life. The dream – to obtain an excellent education in order to open up more opportunities for a better world – is often limited due to the barriers in between international students and the legal ability to study within North America.


Since 2015, the United States has seen a serious decline in the number of applications received toward their post-secondary destinations, as well as the student visas issued. In 2015, about 645,000 F-1 visas were given to international students compared to the more recent figure of 394,000 in 2017. For students in China and India more specifically, the U.S. State Department has witnessed a 24-28% decline in visas issued to international students. Reasons for such changes are difficult to determine because of the undisclosed data regarding how many student visas applications were received and rejected. However, as the Wall Street Journal predicted, the new administration’s restrictive immigration policies have discouraged students from applying to American universities in the first place. From restricting the time STEM majors are able to stay and work in the United States post-graduation, to being barred from entering the country based on nationality, international students planning on studying within America face great challenges in the current political climate.


Fortunately, hope is not lost for prospective international students with their sights on North America. Canada, the other popular study destination within North America, actually makes it easier for students to find a pathway to immigration should they choose to study within the Great Northern country. Across each province lies a nominee program that supports international students in their quest to work after they complete their degrees. Nationwide, international students are able to work for three years post-graduation. In Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, international student talent is welcomed through provincial programs that help keep bright minds within their respective provinces. Overall, the Canadian government holds the strong belief that a positive international student culture is vital to supporting immigration due to their established and long-lasting contribution to their communities of study.


Whether you want to study in Canada or the United States, every application comes with its own unique challenges – but fear no more, ApplyBoard is here to help! With every step of the way, we do our best to make sure anyone is able to pursue their educational dreams. Create an account here today!


Dawson Phan, Marketing Assistant at ApplyBoard

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