I know it’s only four months into the 2019 US government fiscal year (FY19) but I look for trends wherever I can find them, even if they’re just beginning to take shape. Based on US State Department statistics, the number of student visas issued from October 2018 to January 2019 by US Mission-Viet Nam, which includes the Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), pretty much mirror those of the same period last year. (Overall, 5.9% fewer F-1s were issued in 2018 than in FY17, based on a slightly revised final tally.) This is a tentatively positive sign, at least for the first quarter of this fiscal year and in view of substantial decreases from other major sending countries and a downward trend in F-1 issuances. Each month is linked to a PDF download of the relevant statistics for Viet Nam and other countries.
October 2018: 206 vs. 275 in 10-17
November 2018: 390 vs. 364 in 11-17
December 2018: 1,077 vs. 1,299 in 12/17
January 2019: 1400 vs. 1165 in 1/18
For what it’s worth, this amounts to a statistically insignificant decrease of 1% rounded up. While the December issuances were down, they rebounded in January to the tune of 20% over 2018. At this point, we’ll have to wait until “high season”, i.e., from May-August, to see what’s really happening and what the prospects are for the 2019/20 academic year and beyond. So far, so good for those US colleagues who recruit in Viet Nam. Stay tuned!
Shalom (שלום), MAA