Indian students can apply for student visas at these Schengen countries
France, Italy and Germany are among the Schengen countries where Indian students can start applying for their visas. Source: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP

Indian students who have their eyes set on studying in Europe can now start applying for student visas in certain Schengen countries. France, Italy and Germany are among the European countries where Indian students can start applying for their visas. 

In an advisory, VFS Global — visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide — said some of the EU visa application centres have reopened in India. “Effective Aug. 3, 2020, customers can submit visa applications under [the] student category at the Italy Visa Application Centre in Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin,Chennai and Hyderabad by booking a prior appointment,” said VFS Global.

In a tweet, Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, said the country’s visa service is now open for receiving applications for the short-stay and long-stay student visa category. Some of the other Schengen countries and EU member states that are reopening their visa centres in India include Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Portugal, reported

The reopening of visa centres is a welcome relief for many Indian students. In a separate report earlier this month, said nearly a hundred Indian students will not follow their studies in France after French visa centres in India in charge of visa issuance remain closed due to COVID-19. “Even though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has authorised these students to enter France, they remain ineligible to travel to France as the visa application procedures haven’t resumed yet,” it said.

Schengen countries and their appeal to Indian students

Countries such as the US, UK and Australia typically attract throngs of Indian students, but some European countries are gradually seeing an uptick of these groups of students in recent years, thanks in part to the increasing number of courses they offer in English

For instance, Studying in Germany notes that India is the third most popular country of origin for international students in Germany. “As of 2017/18 Winter Semester, 17,570 Indian students were attending university in Germany, 48% more than three years ago,” it said.

Meanwhile, approximately 10,000 Indian students chose France for pursuing higher education in 2019. “The target of having 10,000 students annually in France, set for 2020 by President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was attained well in advance,” said France in India.

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