Whereas denials had been “primarily clustered” in Africa, South Asia and a few areas of the Center East in 2015, by 2022 rejections had been extra frequent in a broad vary of nations.
Globally, solely Australia, China, Brazil, South Africa and a few European nations weren’t affected by elevated denials, the Interview of a Lifetime report notes.
South America noticed visa denials greater than double over the seven years, from 10% rising to 24% in 2022.
Information featured within the report consists of new FOIA stats obtained by schooling firm Shorelight, in addition to public US information, IIE Open Doorways and UN and World Financial institution sources.
The paper, that has been produced by Shorelight and the Presidents’ Alliance, means that denial rises could possibly be all the way down to elevated scrutiny by consular officers of economic paperwork and college students’ post-graduation plans, modifications in consular staffing, steering, or coaching and elevated international demand for visas, amongst different components.
The present twin intent rule, which stakeholders have lengthy referred to as to alter for scholar candidates, means F-1 visa candidates should be capable to present they plan to return residence after their college students.
Australia has additionally seen will increase in denials lately, which IEAA has stated was all the way down to untrained workers at consulates in addition to elevated instances of fraud. The brand new report contains a record of suggestions for elevated coaching and steering for US consulates.
The evaluation “evokes” the query of whether or not fluctuating denial charges between 2015-2022 are a “reflection of nationwide insurance policies and an general unfavorable public narrative towards worldwide college students and immigrants usually, particularly these from sure nations and areas”, it stated.
Denial charges for African nations, excluding South Africa, remained the very best throughout this eight-year interval, the report notes.
Stakeholders earlier this yr reported issues round visa denials in Sub-Saharan Africa, with denial charges for F1 visas in Nigeria reaching “a brand new excessive” final yr. Nevertheless, this paper asks whether or not internet hosting worldwide college students from the area is a “missed alternative”.
Canada has additionally seen an increase in visa rejections, particularly amongst candidates from Africa. Every rejection letter is each “personally devastating” for college kids and in addition represents a “failure of course of, a waste of assets for the scholar and for the establishment”, as famous by CBIE.
The paper highlights that the 4 nations constituting Southern Africa see “considerably and constantly decrease” refusal charges than the remainder of the continent.
In 2022, Southern Africa noticed a 16% refusal charge, in contrast with Western Africa, which noticed the very best refusal throughout the continent, at 71%.
“By 2022, the denial charge for African college students had risen to 54%”
“By 2022, the denial charge for African college students had risen to 54% [including Southern Africa], indicating that simply over half of all African scholar visas had been denied as in contrast with 36% of Asian college students and simply 9% of scholars from Europe,” it acknowledged.
The US has taken “steps to streamline our visa course of and make it simpler for college kids to use” since final yr, in response to US secretary of state Antony Blinken who addressed attendees at NAFSA 2023.
Whereas different competitor nations face lodging shortages, the US is taken into account to be a examine vacation spot that has extra capability. Throughout a launch of a refugee program throughout US campuses in July, chief govt officer of IIE, Allan Goodman, famous that the US has the “capability that no different nation has”.
An upcoming undergraduate “enrolment cliff” can also be anticipated to severely affect home enrolments throughout the nation over the following decade.
The report continues to ask whether or not the US is lacking out on a bigger variety of certified worldwide college students on account of “unusually excessive” visa denial charges.
It calculates that between 2018-2022, an estimated 92,051 “doubtlessly certified” African college students had been denied US visas.
Twin intent must be expanded for F-1 candidates, is likely one of the suggestions outlined within the report.
Moreover, authors say the White Home ought to proceed to articulate the significance of worldwide college students to the US and visa coverage, processing and communications ought to sign to worldwide college students and students that they’re welcome within the nation.
Different suggestions to enhance adjudication embrace: reminders to consular officers that attendance at lesser-known faculties, English language packages or group faculties isn’t a motive for refusing scholar visas; officers shouldn’t ask for proof of a number of years of funding when assessing monetary means; clear steering that post-graduation work pursuits usually are not grounds for denial; in addition to offering “clear and clear” data to college students about visa denials.
“Whereas resolving visa limitations isn’t throughout the purview of particular person US faculties and universities, they will nonetheless play a vital function by prioritising a various worldwide examine physique on campus and by addressing systemic points comparable to value and affordability that restrict the power of scholars from the International South to entry a US postsecondary schooling,” the report concluded.