Biju Janta Dal (BJD) Rajya Sabha MP Amar Patnaik on Tuesday wrote a letter to Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and requested him to cater to the visa woes of emigrating Indian students. In a letter to External Affairs Minister, Amar Patnaik said, “Thousands of Indian students are facing long delays in obtaining visas of major countries such as the US, UK, Germany and Canada etc. even after getting admission into universities in these countries.”
The delay has been particularly worrisome since these countries are among the favourite destinations for pursuing higher education.
“Visa hurdles are shattering the dreams of many young students. The US embassy for instance is completely booked till April 2023 for in-person visa appointments. Similarly, the processing time of a Canadian visa invlove months while the rejection rate is a steep 50 per cent which was 15-20 pc in pre-COVID times. Further, some countries such as Denmark have taken extreme steps of temporarily suspending all new visa appointments,” the former Principal Accountant General of Odisha said in a letter.
BJD Rajya Sabha Upper House MP further said that increased instances of visa rejections and delays are resulting in Indian students seeking a deferral or refund of tuition fees from the universities. I would like to bring to your kind attention that these refunds are partial in nature and therefore, are leading to unnecessary financial and mental stress for these students and their families. Even in a deferral, these students will have to apply for scholarships once again. “In contrast to the above situation, Indian missions abroad have worked overtime, if needed, to issue visas including clearing all the backlogs.” He added
Amar Patnaik said in a letter to S Jaishankar, “I request you to take urgent measures to persuade the mission/embassies of these countries to streamline the visa process, if necessary, by adopting temporary emergency measures for clearing the existing backlog so that students required to join the Fall semester in these countries are able to join in time.”