WASHINGTON: India is the second largest source country of foreign students in the US, with over 2 lakh Indians currently studying in various American universities, a latest official report has said.
China tops the list with 377,070 students, the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVIS) of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations said.
The report said 49 per cent of the F and M student population in the United States hailed from either China or India (211,703 students), and interest continues to grow.
There are two different types of non-immigrant student visas in the US: the F-1 and M-1 visas.
The F-1 visa is for non-immigrants wanting to go for academic studies and/or language training programme, and the M-1 visa is for non-immigrants wanting to go for non-academic or vocational studies.
Over the reporting period, both China and India saw proportional growth between 1 and 2 per cent, with China sending 6,305 more students and India sending 2,356 more students.
It is this level of participation from China and India that makes Asia far and away the most popular continent of origin.
In fact, 77 per cent of all international students in the US call Asia home, the report said.
According to the report, despite steady growth from the two mot populous nations, there was a slight decrease in the number of Asian students coming to study in the United States over the reporting period.
The sharp decline in the number of students from Saudi Arabia (-9,971), South Korea (-5,488), and Yemen (-396) outweighed the rapid growth in the number of students coming from Pakistan (+448), Myanmar (+206) and Cambodia (+109).
During the reporting period, the total number of SEVIS records for active F and M students decreased by 0.5 per cent, from 1,208,039 in March 2017 to 1,201,829 in March 2018.
The J-1 exchange visitor population increased by four per cent from 201,408 in March 2017 to 209,568 in March 2018.
The J-1 visa offers cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the United States through a variety of programs overseen by the US State Department.