Report: US Issued Its Highest-Ever Student Visa To Nigerians In 2022

The United States issued Nigerians and Ghanaians their highest-ever student visa in history in 2022, a recent report has revealed.

According to The Cable, ApplyBoard, the Canadian educational company, said more African students were awarded F1 visas in 2022 than ever before, citing data from the US Department of State.

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,” the report said.

 “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 Voice of America reported 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.

Despite 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 per cent 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.

The ApplyBoard data showed that the US is still behind the UK and Canada — which are highly sought after by Nigerians in terms of student visas issued in 2022.

“It’s worth noting, however, that we continue to see higher growth trajectories from competing destination markets. Canada issued over 420,000 student visas in 2022, a 27 per cent increase over 2021,” the report said.

“In the UK, annual growth was 34 per cent in the year ending March 2023.” This is the only line that attempts to draw that comparison in the report.”

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