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African Students Find it Harder to Get to Study in the US

International students who wish to study at a school in the United States must apply to the U.S. State Department for an F-1 visa, which allows them to live in the U.S. while studying. A July 2023 report from an alliance of higher education leaders found, however, that African students are denied these visas at a higher rate than those from other continents. The report looked at U.S. visa refusals for applications from every continent and showed that the rate of refusal increased to more than one in two (54%) in 2022 for African students from 44% in 2015. By contrast, refusal rates were constantly under 10% in Europe and mostly under 35% elsewhere. Southern Africa, where the average refusal rate for the period reviewed is 12%, is the exception within the continent. In 2022, African students from that region had lower U.S. visa refusal rates than South American or Asian students. But very high refusals for West African students place Africa atop the overall chart. Last year, seven in 10 applicants for a U.S. student visa from West Africa were refused. The data was published by U.S. higher education research company Shorelight and the non-profit Presidents’ Alliance group.