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China invites visa applications from stranded Indian students
The Chinese embassy has officially announced its plan to issue visas to stranded Indian students. There are 23,000 students, mostly pursuing medicine and research in Chinese universities, who had to come back to India because of covid and got stuck here for the last two years. Those seeking new admissions can also apply for visa provided they have secured an admission in a university there. The embassy has also, meanwhile, updated the application procedures and material requirements. However, the air fare is prohibitive as direct flight has not been resumed as yet.

NEW DELHI, Aug 23: Over two years after they left China because of the covid pandemic, thousands of Indian students are now hoping to get back to resume their studies as the situation has improved and the embassy has decided to invite visa applications from these students as well as those seeking new admissions in Chinese universities.

On Monday the Chinese embassy officially announced its plan to issue visas to Indian students. The Counsellor in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Warmest congratulations to Indian students! Your patience proves worthwhile. I can really share your excitement and happiness. Welcome back to China!”

However, the air fare is prohibitive as direct flight has not been resumed as yet. The ban on direct flight was imposed when covid started spreading across the world two and a half years ago.

Visa application procedures and material requirements

The Chinese Embassy in India on Monday updated the “Application Procedures and Material Requirements of China Visa”, which will take effect from August 24, 2022.

Online application: Applicants must fill in details on the online application form and the confirmation page. Then make an appointment with application form number after following the instructions. The website for Visa Application Service Centre in New Delhi is https://bio.visaforchina.org/DEL2_EN/. Submit all the required documents in person at the centre.

Provide fingerprints: The following applicants are exempt from fingerprint collection: Applicants under the age of 14 or over 70; Applicants who already had their fingerprints collected within the past five years at the Chinese Embassy in India or the Chinese Visa Centre in New Delhi with the same passport; Applicants with all fingers mutilated or uncollectible.

Materials required for the approval of visa are:

  • Visa application form;
  • Confirmation page of online visa application;
  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months with 2 or more blank visa pages and the photocopy of relevant pages of the passport;
  • Expired passports within 5 years and the photocopy of relevant pages of the passports;
  • Two recently-taken colour passport photos (full face, front view and bare head. Size: 48 mm×33mm);
  • Certificate of covid vaccination with verifiable QR code;
  • For student visa:- Covering letter with details as follows: place to visit, name, address, contact number, and email address of the university or entity of admission,etc; For newly-enrolled students: 1. Original‘Visa Application for Study in China’ (Form JW201 or Form JW202); 2. Original Admission Letter issued by a university in China; For students who return to China to resume their studies: ‘Certificate of Returning to Campus’ issued by the university in China.

Students from Delhi and north can apply at China Visa Application Centre (CVAC) New Delhi (+91-9999036735; +91-11-30013601 / 30013603 ), from eastern India at Kolkata CVAC (+91-33-40010210) and from south and west at Mumbai CVAC (+91-22-22855271). They work on behalf of the Chinese Embassies and Consulates-General.

The normal visa procedure takes 4 working days. Extra fees will be charged for urgent visa.

Fees: The Consulate General accepts only demand draft for payment of visa fees. The draft should be payable to "The Consulate General of China, Mumbai".

A "Physical Examination Record for Foreigner" issued by a doctor of an Indian Government hospital may also be required.

There were about 23,000 Indian students in Chinese universities, mostly medical and research students, when the pandemic began in 2019. Most of them were repatriated to India. As the covid receded, last month visa rules were eased for certain categories.

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