International students can now apply for student visa from Schengen countries such as France, Italy and Germany, as long as they comply with hygiene and distance measures. However, many are facing difficulties getting student visa to EU, particularly Germany.
While online-only students are not eligible for student visa to Germany, others cannot get theirs processed either, even after completing their visa interview. This is because embassies remain closed in many parts of the world.
Here are some issues international students faced trying to get their student visa to EU.
Iranian students have united under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism. They are calling for governments to resume visa processing for international students who need to travel to the countries where their course is starting.
These students are largely dissatisfied with the German Embassy in Tehran. A representative told SchengenVisaInfo.com, “Some of us have PhD admissions and are worried about their contracts expiring. Some of us have admission in MA programs and in the winter semester of 2020, their universities did not offer online programme, and they will not be able to defer their upcoming semester.”
In response, a German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson said that the ongoing restrictions are limiting the number of visa appointments right now. The German Embassy in Tehran barely had time to trial their new selective process for student visa application before offices were forced to close earlier this year.
Similarly in Bangladesh, hundreds of students are still trying to secure a student visa appointment or interview. Despite being listed as an essential group, prospective international students entering Germany have been unable to apply at the German Embassy in Dhaka. It has yet to resume student visa issuance.
The Embassy has left Bangladeshi students in the lurch with its vague statement: “We have proactively implemented measures and developed plans to prioritise the health and well-being of our team and our customers and will therefore discontinue non-essential visa and consular services until further notice. Appointments for national visas already arranged during this period will be re-scheduled by the Embassy.”
The pandemic closures are shining a light on a long-standing issue for Moroccan students hoping to study in Germany. In the past, some have had to wait 10 months to simply make an appointment at the German embassy. It may be helpful to know that the Embassy separates study visa applications into two lists based on student achievement.
Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal have all reopened their visa processing centres in India. Yet, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Indian students looking to get a student visa to EU.
Around 100 Indian students who got into ESSEC Business School were unable to depart to France despite getting the go-ahead from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why? Simply because visa processing had not resumed at the French centres in India.
Prospective international students in Lagos who want to study in Germany fear their hopes will be dashed if the German Consulate in Lagos does not begin processing visas soon. An unnamed student who was at the consulate claims that visa applications of scholarship students were being prioritised.
“Thousands of Nigerians have gained admission to study in Germany but have not even gotten a visa interview date up till this time and stand the risk of losing our admission. We need the attention of the German Government to be drawn to our cries as other embassies in Nigeria have begun to issue visa interview dates and visas to students in Nigeria,” student Emmanuel Cobham told SaharaReporters.