ApplyBoard, a Canadian educational company, says the United States (US) issued Nigeria and Ghana their highest-ever student visa in history in 2022.
According to the company’s report, more African students were awarded F1 visas in 2022 than ever before, citing data from the US Department of State.
Note that F1 visa is usually issued to those pursuing an academic programme or seeking a full-time degree at a US institution.
“Nigeria and Ghana will be particularly interesting to watch over the next couple of years — both were issued the most student visas in their histories in 2022.
“As the US grows in popularity among African and Indian students, the short-term trade-off may be slightly lower approval rates. But the long-term benefits could help fast-track the recovery of the US international education sector,” the report said.
Also, the Voice of America reports that the number of visas issued to students from Africa in 2022 surpassed 30,700 — an increase from 23,229 recorded in the 2021 fiscal year.
The data also showed that the most visas issued to students from Africa in 2018 stood at 21,037.
The US issued 20,165 student visas to Africa in 2019 while the figure dropped to 7,333 in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Over 411,000 student visas were issued by the US in 2022, a 15 per cent increase from that of 2021 which had 357,839.
The 2022 figure is estimated to be the highest number of student visas recorded globally since 2017.
In spite of the hike, the US visa approval rates dropped to 65 per cent amid the rising volume of applications.
India was issued over 115,000 student visas in 2022 — an over 43% increase from the previous year.
The country is projected to displace China as the country with the most international students in the US in the coming years.