FIGURE 2-2 Top 11 student- and scholar-sending countries, FY 2003.

SOURCE: Data provided by US Department of State and available in its annual publication Report of the Visa Office, published by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Recent editions are available at (*) Note that Great Britain issuance numbers include UK and Hong Kong.

through 2003. J-visa issuances, mostly to Europeans, followed roughly the same pattern, with a larger rise in the 1990s and a smaller downturn after 2001. To date, the downturn has reflected an increased denial rate more than a decreased application rate. As seen in Figure 2-4, the refusal rate for J-visa applicants rose steadily from 2000 through 2003. The adjusted refusal rate for F-visa applicants peaked in 2002. In 2004, denial rates had decreased considerably and were approaching 1999 levels.6 It is not possible to obtain visa denial rates by country.

One can track the changes in nonimmigrant-visa issuance rates directly to changes in visa and immigration policies and structures after the terror attacks of 9-11. Implementation of the student-tracking system, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and enhanced Visas Mantis security screening led to closer scrutiny and longer times for visa processing. The effects of the increased security were felt keenly by newly accepted and continuing students, who with university researchers and administrators expressed dismay at the new degree of difficulty in obtaining


US Department of State, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, 1998-2003. See Figure 2-4.

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