In fiscal year 2008, the U.S. Department of State issued a record high of 710,631 F, J, and M student and exchange visitor visas. This represented a 9.1 percent increase in F, J, and M student and exchange visas issued in fiscal year 2008 than in fiscal year 2007; and a more than 26 percent increase over fiscal year 2001.
This is the third fiscal year in a row the State Department has broken records in this area. The State Department continues to issue student and exchange visas well above highs before 9/11.
The State Department issued almost 40 percent more student and exchange visitor visas to Chinese nationals than in fiscal year 2007, and that is after an increase of 40 percent from fiscal year 2006. The State Department is also continuing to see significant increases in student and exchange visitor visa issuance from the Middle East, where we issued 26.2 percent more student and exchange visitor visas in fiscal year 2008 than in fiscal year 2007.
The State Department, along with the Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. government agencies, recognizes that one of the foundations of the U.S. academic and scientific communities is vibrant international participation. America’s outstanding academic and research institutions are as valuable to U.S. national security as protection of our borders.