TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. issued only 145 student visas to Chinese citizens excluding Hongkongers, compared to more than 20,000 in the same period last year, the Liberty Times reported on Wednesday (Sept. 16), citing Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Meanwhile, the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong and institute in Taiwan approved a total of nearly 1,000 student visas in the same period.
Yan Xiao-zhe (燕曉哲), a founder of overseas study consulting institute U.S. Education Without Borders, said that since the beginning of the year, the institute’s U.S. visa business for Chinese students has basically come to a standstill and remained so for nearly 10 months. Therefore, Chinese students are applying instead in Hong Kong and Taiwan, for U.S. visas, per Liberty Times.
The U.S. has in recent years tightened its visa limitations for Chinese students and scholars, including in 2018 shortening the visa validity period from five years to one for Chinese graduate students studying in “sensitive” fields. Since June this year, the U.S. has canceled visas for more than 1,000 Chinese citizens, in order to block students and researchers with military backgrounds from entering the U.S.
Rebecca Zhang, former Chinese student recruitment representative for Northern Virginia Community College in North Virginia, said even though Chinese students have significantly contributed to the U.S. economy, illegal behaviors such as intellectual property theft, have created more problems than tuition fees from Chinese students can cover, per Liberty Times.