US Student Visa Update from Viet Nam: So Far, So Good in FY19

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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 20181,077 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!  

Source:  Monthly Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance Statistics

Shalom (שלום), MAA

US Student Visa Issuances to Vietnamese Students Resume Their Upward Trend

Below is a graph with information about F-1 (student) visa issuances from 1998, the early days of Vietnamese studying in the US, to 2017, which ended on 30 September last year. These data are from this Excel file on the US State Department website:  Nonimmigrant Visa Issuances by Visa Class and by Nationality.  Just download and look for Viet Nam.

As you can see below, there has been some volatility in the number of student visas issued to Vietnamese students in the last few years.  There was a…

  • substantial 35% increase from 2013-14
  • somewhat more modest yet still impressive increase of 20.44% from 2014-15
  • decrease of 11.28% from 2015-16
  • rebound increase of 8.62% from 2016-17

We’ll have to wait until the FY18 results to determine whether the 2016 decrease was an aberration or a trend.  One possible indicator is the fact that the 2017 number is lower than that of 2015 by 642 visas.

Keep in mind that these issuances include renewals and that about 9% of all Vietnamese students (PDF download of Viet Nam Fact Sheet) enrolled in US higher education have Optional Practical Training (OPT) status, according to the IIE Open Doors 2017 report.  That includes 2,345 Vietnamese students in higher education, or 9% of the total, as of December 2017.  (Open Doors and SEVIS use different data sets, the former from a survey of higher education institutions administered a year before the results are released and the latter using real-time and comprehensive data.)

1998-17 F-1 visas vn to us

Peace, MAA