Indian Govt In Talks With the US, Canada, and UK On Long Visa Wait Times

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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India said that it is in discussion with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK and USA to streamline the Visa process for Indians, especially for student visas.

People with knowledge of the matter said that the MEA brought up the subject of student visas and requested that senior diplomats from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, and the USA speed up and clarify the procedure.

Arindam Bagchi, the MEA’s official spokesman, of Friday in a Tweet inform about the progress and said;

“Senior MEA officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK & USA had constructive discussions with corresponding Heads of Missions/senior diplomats of these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals.”

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He added that since the flow of students has been beneficial to both countries, ambassadors from those nations have decided to continue working on easing & fast-tracking the visa process.

According to UNESCO data, the number of Indian students studying outside India climbed by 163 per cent between 1999 and 2006, reaching 145,539, compared to a slower 25 per cent increase between 2006 and 2013, reaching 181,872.

More than 1 million Indian students are studying in 85 countries outside of India as of January 2021, more than half of all Indian students study in North America only.

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As of March 20, 1,33,135 Indian students had gone overseas for higher education, according to information provided to Parliament on Thursday.

Visa Delay For Indians

It is worth mentioning that obtaining a Visa for the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and most European countries has taken significantly longer for Indians in recent months.

For example;

  • The visa processing time for the United Kingdom has increased to 5-10 weeks; student visa applications are presently taking 5 weeks on average to process while skilled worker visa applications are currently taking on average 6 weeks to process.
  • Germany no longer accepts permanent residency visas.
  • The Visa processing time for Greece and Spain can be as long as six to eight weeks.
  • While the Denmark Embassy has temporarily suspended the applications for short-stay visas and resident cards.

Reasons Behind Delays In Visa Processing!

The major reason behind the delay includes a shortage of embassy staff due to the coronavirus pandemic; a massive backlog of pending applications; a huge surge in demand for tourist visas, and tighter visa-granting protocols.

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