As the entire world is still tackling the repercussions of the ongoing pandemic, the unanticipated decisions of immigration authorities have certainly jeopardized the future of students planning to pursue higher education abroad. International students have faced uncertainty due to the various bans and the unstructured nature of the education system on a global level. The EU-wide travel ban on third-country citizens is one major highlight for the international students who planned to study in Germany for the upcoming academic sessions. The international students’ call for German visa processing to resume has been brought forward by the hashtag #educationisnottourism.
Related Read: Study in Germany
Many students who had already been admitted to German colleges have been apprehensive about the further process due to the student visa application halt. Various students from around the world took over to Twitter and called out the EU members and the German embassy under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism.
The EU member state has closed all embassies around the world. Germany declared on May 5 that it will be halting the applications of students from India, Iraq, Bahrain, Malaysia, Jordan, Thailand, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, amongst others. A few students weren’t granted a visa despite having completed their visa interview round. Free Democrat education expert, Jens Brandenburg also revealed his dismay by commenting on the “bureaucratic narrow-mindedness” on the part of the government. The German Government also stated that the students who have their classes online and do not need ‘physical presence’ at the university would not be permitted to apply for a student visa.
Also Read: German Student Visa
Students from Iran, Bangladesh and India among other nations have been gravely affected by the travel ban. Many Iranian students had plans to enter their doctoral and master’s degree programs at German universities but didn’t expect such an imprudent response from the German Authorities. The Iranian students have faced issues with visa grants for a long time and the pandemic has further aggravated the situation.
With many study programs which were to resume in September, students send their pleas to increase the visa slots for the visa appointment. An Indian student raised his voice under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism saying, “We are in a very precarious situation. Please understand our concerns. We have made great efforts to study in Germany. Please do not ignore the hardships that we have endured. Kindly, Start the Visa applications asap.” To exasperate the concerns of students, various German Embassies are willingly granting work-visas and short-term visas for family visits.
What does the German Federal Foreign Office Say?
Though, German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson stated in September that their office is working towards issuing visas to students who are exempted from the lockdown guidelines in Germany. Another update came in August when Germany Research Minister, Anja Karliczek said that they will start issuing visas to those students who can prove that they cannot pursue their studies from abroad and their physical presence is necessary. Regardless of this, students have been struggling to get visa appointments even after getting the university offer letters from their respective colleges.
Difficulties Increasing for International Students
Apart from not getting their students visas, students have started facing many other problems as well. Students have been instructed to lock an amount of €10,000 in their accounts as proof to the German officials of their financial well-being and that they can financially support their studies. After locking the money, they have been waiting for any visa update by the German Embassies. The students are also tensed regarding their official English language certificates as they are time-bound and may run out of validity.
The German Foreign Ministry has stated that they have issued 310 academic visas to Mexico and Iran in the third quarter of the year and are continuously working towards the visa issuance.
Thus, the international students especially master’s students are urging German Embassies to resume the visa processing so that they can move towards studying their chosen course and university.Stay tuned to Leverage Edu to know more about updates on German student visa applications for the upcoming year! Don’t forget to check out our exclusive blogs on emerging careers, courses and news updates on higher education in India and abroad!