New Delhi: In a big relief for hundreds of Indian professionals and their families who are stuck back home since 2020, China has once again started the process of visa application for Indian citizens stranded in India for over two years following the strict visa restrictions imposed by Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese Embassy in Delhi has issued a notice on its website, which reads, Foreign nationals visiting China and their accompanying family members can apply for visa for the resumption of work and production in all sectors.
However, it does not clearly state whether Indian students waiting to go to their college can also apply for visa or not. It has been made clear in the notice that visa applications for tourism and other personal purposes are temporarily suspended.
During the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India in March, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar had discussed starting the visa.
China agreed to allow some Indian students to return after Jaishankar’s personal intervention. A list of students returning to China was also made available. According to Prasar Bharati, the issue of the return of Indian students is being handled differently.
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For the last two years, the Indian Embassy and the Ministry of External Affairs have been continuously raising the issue of the return of Indian nationals, including students, with the Chinese authorities.
The Indian government also took a tough stand on China not providing visas to students. In April, the government suspended the tourist visas of Chinese citizens.
According to a report, there are about 22,000 Indian students in the Chinese university. But due to the non-availability of visas, studies were stopped. There have been frequent complaints that students and their families are suffering from mental stress, and financial losses.