On August 22, 2022, China announced that Indian Students can apply for visas to return to China to resume their studies, after more than 2 years since the pandemic. In November 2020, China banned Indians from travelling citing the pandemic. In July 2022 China finally eased the visa rules to allow immediate family members to travel.
The Chinese Embassy in India and some other countries released an updated process for visa applications this Monday, including a list of visa category applications for recently enrolled and returning students.
Ji Rong, Counsellor at the Department of Asian Affairs in the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said, “Warmest congratulations to Indian students! Your patience proves worthwhile“.
As of 2019, over 23,000 Indian students were enrolled in Chinese universities. The resumption of issuing Student Visas has been a relief for Indian Students, especially those in medical universities who have been waiting for more than 2 years to resume and attend the practical training required to graduate.
But obstacles still remain the same for returning students. One of the hurdles is to acquire the “Certificate of Returning to Campus” required for visa applications. Some Chinese universities are also not issuing letters citing the Covid-19 scenario in their provinces.
Traveling to China is another obstacle as direct flights from India to China are yet to resume while transit flights are being sold at higher than the usual fare cost. Recently, students from Sri Lanka and Pakistan traveled to China on Chartered Flights.
However, China has been slowly increasing the number of international flights but continues to strictly regulate international travel as it follows a stringent “zero-COVID” policy. Inbound travelers are still required to quarantine, although the period has now been reduced to 10 days, earlier than 21.