Chinese Students Facing Challenges on US Visa

In July 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that 1,000 visas had been cancelled for Chinese students already studying in the US. Since the Trump administration’s 10043 proclamation, another 500 new US visa applications had been refused.

In “Assessing the Scope of US Visa Restrictions on Chinese Students”, a report by the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology, the authors estimate that 3,000-5,000 visas had been suspended or rejected under the 10043 proclamation as part of US’s retaliation to China’s “Military-Civil Fusion Strategy”. Most students rejected are post-graduates studying STEM.

A survey of 310 Chinese students with failed visa applications, reported on by Chinese media source ScienceNet, showed that most of these students studied at eight universities which were deemed to have a military connection: Beijing Aeronautics and Astronautics University, Nanjing Aeronautics and Astronautics University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin Engineering University, North Eastern University of Technology, Nanjing Institute of Technology and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications; or sponsored by CSCSE (Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange).

Amongst the 130,000 Chinese post-graduate students in the US, approximately 40,000-50,000 of them are in STEM fields. About 19,000 plan to renew their visas. The US previously indicated that their new proclamation would impact around 2% of visa applications. However, the 3,000-5,000 visas that have been suspended or rejected out of the total 19,000 amounts to one in four post-graduate STEM visas being affected. China Daily reported concerns by the HE industry within the US, who feel the proclamation was “capricious, unclear and excessive”.

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