According to the latest figures from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, a record 10,867 F-1 (student) visas were issued in Fiscal Year 2013, which ended on 30 September 2013. That represents a 5% increase over FY2012. As you see from the chart below, the take-off phase, which reflects the rapidly expanding Vietnamese economy and the concomitant growing ability to pay, began in 2005. With the exception of a spike in FY08 and a significant dip the following year, the increases have been steady.
In case you’re counting, the US Mission in Vietnam has issued a total of 78,448 student visas since FY1997. According to an official source, the current refusal rate in HCMC is 50%, where the majority of visas are issued. One can assume that it is considerably lower in the Embassy in Hanoi. Last year, the worldwide issuance rate was 77%.