African and South American college students face high hurdles to study in the U.S.

“The U.S. is losing out on qualified future talent from Africa,” the researchers wrote, adding that if the trend of F-1 visa denials for African students continues, other countries will compete for the emerging talent pool from the largest continent.

“A lot of people may not realize how important it is strategically for the United States to make sure that we’re welcoming students from around the globe. It’s been a major pillar of our security, our foreign policy and our economic progress,” said Jill Welch, a senior policy adviser at the Presidents’ Alliance. “The inability to secure a visa should never stand in the way of qualified students being able to pursue an educational degree in the U.S.”

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