Every fourth non-resident foreign national in the US in 2016 was an Indian, according to a report which states that about 60% of resident non-immigrants were citizens of Asian countries, with those from China accounting for 15%.
In 2016, there were an estimated 2.3 million non-immigrant residents who are mainly workers, students, exchange visitors, and diplomats and other representatives.
This was up 15% from 2 million in 2015, said the report compiled by the Department of Homeland Security.
Examples of such temporary purposes include tourism, work, study, participation in an exchange programme, representing a foreign government or international organisation, and accompanying a principal non-immigrant as an immediate family member, it said.
In 2016, there were 580,000 Indians in the US as resident non-immigrant. Of these, 440,000 were temporary workers, which includes those on H-1B visas and 140,000 were students.
China came up with a distant second with 340,000 resident non-immigrants. This included 40,000 temporary workers and 260,000 students, the report said.
'75% of Indian nationals were admitted as temporary workers, making up about 40 per cent of the temporary worker total, whereas about 75% of Chinese nationals were admitted as students, comprising 30% of the student total. China also accounted for 15% of the exchange visitor total, compared to India's 4%,' the report said.
The next leading countries were Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Mexico trended similarly to India, with 85% admitted as temporary workers and only about 10% as students.
Canada and Japan also favoured temporary workers, but to a lesser extent, with about 65% to 70% workers and about 20% to 25% students, respectively. South Korea and Saudi Arabia were more like China, favoring students.
According to a latest CRS report, in fiscal 2018, US state department consular officers issued 9 million non-immigrant visas, down from a peak of 10.9 million in 2015.
There were approximately 6.8 million tourism and business visas, which comprised more than three-quarters of all non-immigrant visas issued in 2018.
Other notable groups were temporary workers (924,000, or 10.2%), students (399,000, or 4.4%), and cultural exchange visitors (382,000, or 4.2%), the report said.
Visas issued to foreign nationals from Asia made up 43% of non-immigrant visas issued in 2018, followed by North America (21%), South America (18%), Europe (12%), and Africa (5%), it said.