On Tuesday, the US embassy and consulates in China resumed accepting student visa applications, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 last year. They will be more careful about making decisions to study in the US after a year of battling the pandemic, constant attacks on Asians, and growing cynicism and even prejudice against Chinese students.
After the United States relaxed travel restrictions on many countries, including China, the transition was made.
“On the first day of resuming student visa application, some students received good news, while others received bad news,” a Beijing-based consultant on applying for a US visa told the Global Times on Tuesday about the application results. He said that a small number of students who applied on Tuesday were turned down or had their applications reviewed by visa officers.
Chinese students from schools with a “military history” are scrutinised more closely, and their chances of obtaining a visa are slim to none.
“I’ve decided to abandon my plans to study in the United States. There would be no way for me to go to the United States if I didn’t try. “On Tuesday, Sinan, a PhD student in aerospace science, spoke to the Global Times.
Sinan’s school is said to be on a list of schools affected by a proclamation signed by former US President Donald Trump in May 2020, which barred Chinese students and scholars from attending schools that “implement or support China’s Military-Civil Fusion (MCF) policy.”
“Getting a US visa for my school and major will be too difficult,” Sinan said. Instead, he chose to relocate to Europe.
Around 200 students affected by the proclamation, according to Sinan, have formed a chat group to discuss how to defend their rights.
In an online chatting community she joined, Catherine, who had been accepted to an Ivy League university but could not attend due to US travel restrictions, said students were excited about the recent decision to lift the restrictions. She said that some of them had decided to apply for their visas in Thailand.
Some said that even though they were granted the visa, they were concerned about virus-prevention measures and anti-China sentiment in the United States. Several students contacted by the Global Times expressed disappointment that the vaccinations they obtained in China were not accepted in the United States.
Some Chinese students have changed their minds about studying in the United States due to these concerns.
“Some of the students in my immediate vicinity are also keeping an eye on the situation. I know some people who have chosen to leave American universities and study in Europe or Japan or have chosen to work for a while. “The Global Times spoke with Cao Di, a senior student at the University of International Business and Economics.
The spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, as well as the country’s polarization over the issue and attacks on Asians, have both heightened the worries of Chinese students, many of whom will avoid the United States as a study abroad destination, according to Li Haidong, professor at the China Foreign Affairs University’s Institute of International Relations.
“While there would still be a large number of Chinese students heading to the United States,” Li said, “there would be a decrease in the number compared to before the pandemic.” “Chinese students and their parents are concerned about studying in the United States.”
During a press conference on April 30, William Bistransky, acting consul general at the US Embassy in China, said that once appointments are officially re-opened, the embassy will ramp up visa processing for students.
In 2020, China had 382,000 students studying in the United States, accounting for 31% of all international students. According to data from the Association of International Educators, the economic activity generated by international students in the United States decreased by $1.8 billion in the 2019-20 academic year, according to data from the Association of International Educators, from $40.5 billion the previous year.