The United States issued more visas in 2008 for students and other academic and cultural exchanges than any other year in history, the US State Department said Tuesday.
Citizens from China and nations in the Middle East accounted for the largest increases during the 2008 fiscal year, which ended September 30, the State Department said.
The State Department issued more than 710,00 visas to students or participants in educational exchange programmes, an increase of 9 per cent from 2007. Chinese citizens accounted for 40 per cent of the increase, while the Middle East produced a 26-per-cent rise, dpa reported.
Tightened rules by the US government following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, prompted worries of fewer applicants for student and educational programmes. But since 2001, the number of educational visas issued by the government has climbed by 26 per cent, the State Department said.