America Needs International Students and Scholars

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The United States is in a competition for global talent with other countries. In 2017, we saw a 6.6% decline in new international student enrollment, the second consecutive year of decline. We are also losing our market share of international students and scholars (down 6% since 2001), while many other countries are proactively introducing national policies and marketing strategies in order to attract these talented individuals.


Students can work for up to 18 months after graduation.

Graduates of certain high-need occupations are able to work longer, for up to four years.1

In 2018, Australia saw an increase of 15% in international student enrollment.


Following graduation, foreign students can work for a time period equal to the period they studied in Canada, up to a maximum of three years.

Work experience considered “skilled” helps graduates qualify for legal residence in Canada.2

In 2017, international enrollment increased by 20%.


Foreign students graduating with a master’s degree or above are immediately eligible to apply for work visas within one year of graduation. 3

In 2008, China set a target of bringing half a million foreign students to its shores by 2020; in 2017, China is close to hitting its target 3 years early, with a 10% increase over 2016 enrollment numbers.

What Congress Can Do to Help Our Universities Compete

America needs a national recruitment strategy to proactively attract talented individuals.

Congress should allow international student visa applicants to express interest in staying in the U.S. after graduation.

Congress should support bills that make us a more welcoming nation. We urge Congress to protect duration of status and practical training and make more green cards available for students who graduate from our universities.