Sunday, July 25, 2021

Embassies gradually begin Visa processing as the pandemic shows sign of decline –

India continues to report Covid cases below 1 lakh per day.

As the various states across the country begin unlocking in a graded manner, a section of people are hopeful of easing in travel restriction by several countries which came into play as India was hit hard by the second wave of Corona.

There is a large population of students who have been lucky to secure admission in various foreign Universities but were unable to join their institutions as the spread of Covid and subsequent closure of the various embassy and Consulate offices almost stopped processing of all type of Visa applications. The sudden and unprecedented situation created a panic among many people who got stuck in India. Various embassies started getting urgent calls but they largely remained unfulfilled due to strict Covid Guidelines and travel restrictions. Now as the situation of the pandemic in India is fast deescalating, various foreign Missions have started indication that things might get well soon.

France has called for students interested in studying in France to apply for Visas. French Ambassador Emannuel Lenin took to Twitter “Looking to study in France? Student visa applications are now open at your nearest VFS centre! Get all the information you need on programmes & scholarships, plus free counselling at your nearest Campus France office:” He tweeted.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are continuing their important operations. Spokesperson of the US embassy In Delhi said that student visas remains a top priority and the U.S. Mission to India is making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester, including by offering tens of thousands of July and August student visa appointments at posts across India.
Most other routine nonimmigrant visa appointments at U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai remain limited. Mission India posts will make every attempt to continue to honour approved emergency visa appointments. Emergency services for U.S. citizens will continue.

For people keen on travelling to the UK, The High Commission has already started Visa application centres for quite some time. A British High Commission spokesperson said: “The UK’s Visa Application Centres in India are open and we continue to process applications for many visa categories, including student and skilled worker visas.” The UK’s new Graduate Route for international students are opening for applications on 1 July 2021. The spokesperson said, “Our universities are global institutions which thrive on the contribution of international students, including those from India.”

Meanwhile, “The UK has also modified visa rules to ensure students can study online until they’re able to travel to the UK for in-person tuition.” He added further

Acknowledging the deep people-to-people links between India and Singapore, A representative from the High Commission responded, “We hope that the situation continues to improve. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our border measures accordingly.”
The representative further added Singapore government is working closely with IATA to safely rebuild connectivity. Singapore is one of the first countries to adopt the IATA Travel Pass for the submission of pre-departure PCR test results to airlines and immigration checkpoints from 1 May 2021.

The pandemic has affected all aspects of life globally. With the global fight getting stronger against the pandemic with aggressive vaccination, things are gradually moving back to normalcy.

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