China Announces Plans To Issue Visas For Stranded Indian Students

Beijing: China announced that it will issue visas to Indian students who have been waiting for over two years to return to their Chinese universities due to Beijing’s strict COVID restrictions. The announcement made on the website of Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said that the updated allocation procedures will be effective from 24th of August which will be applicable to various categories of Indian travelers including students, businessmen and families of those working in China. However, tourist visa is not yet allowed.

A senior official from Chinese Foreign Ministry who had recently come back to China after completing her tenure in Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has also tweeted confirming the same and welcoming Indian students.

As per the announcement, X1-Visa, will be issued to students who intend to go to China to pursue long-term study for higher academic education, including newly-enrolled students and students who wish to return to China to resume their studies. Over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine, are reportedly stuck back home due to COVID visa restrictions.

India had submitted a list of students after China sought the names of those wanting to return immediately to pursue their studies.

While the new students should produce original admission letter issued by a university in China, the old students need to submit a Certificate of Returning to Campus issued by the concerned university in China. At present, there are no direct flights between India and China after China banned it in November 2020. For the first time in over two years, a chartered flight engaged by Indian businessmen and their families arrived in the Chinese city of Hangzhou recently. Some students from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Russia and several other countries have already arrived on chartered flights in recent weeks.

In July, China had permitted the family members of Indian professionals working in China. Several of them arrived through the third country routes paying several times higher than the normal ticket rates. India and China are discussing to resume direct flights. Incidentally, this announcement also included C-Visa issued to crew members. Once done, it will be a big step forward to increase the flow of peoples between both countries as direct flights will reduce lot of hassle related to transit in a third country and will be a respite from costly flight tickets.

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