Udayavni Special

Rules for Indian students to travel abroad for studies


Team Udayavani, Jun 29, 2021, 1:34 PM IST

It’s the time of the year when Indian students will soon start planning their travel to international study destinations, with the autumn session of the 2021 academic year set to begin from August onwards.

Although with the COVID-19 pandemic and new virus variants, places in Europe, the United States of America, and Australia are adopting a cautious approach in permitting foreign students.

As for many other criteria, vaccination is a must for students to go attend physical lectures on the University campuses. It is important to note that only vaccines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved list are permissible. This means that students vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin may not be allowed entry.

Below are the rules to be followed in major destinations.

United States of America

The United States is ready to allow international students entry into physical campus programmes from the Fall session onwards.
Amid confusion over mandatory vaccine requirement, MEA clarified that vaccination is not a mandatory requirement for traveling to the US for Indian students.
There is a travel ban from India to the US. However, the authorities have made an exception in the case of student travelers, as one significant caveat – entry will be provided on a case-to-case basis.
As a 12-16-week gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine is the set norm in India, the Ministry of Health has made an exception for students planning international travel.

France
France has a list of ‘Green countries’ where cases of COVID-19 are low. These individuals can enter the country without any restrictions. Although, India does not figure on this list. Therefore it wouldn’t be an automatic approval process if a student qualifies for a higher education programme.

A case-to-case basis approval will be granted. For this, a student needs to be fully vaccinated and travel will be permitted only after two weeks of the double dose.

Australia
Travel restrictions for Indians continue in Australia, there is a proposal to allow international students from India with a monthly cap.

United Kingdom
Indian students with valid visas can travel to the UK to study on campus. Also, the blanket vaccination hasn’t been made mandatory.
As India is among the countries that are on the “red list” with a high number of COVID-19 cases, students will have to quarantine for 10 days, their health to be monitored during this period.

China
Since February 2020, almost 25,000 Indian students pursuing medical courses in China have been held back in India.
Final-year medical students can only get their degree once they complete 52-week internships at designated hospitals after their fifth year.
The report states that students from other regions like South Korea are back to campuses in China, Indian students have not been permitted.

Canada
Canadian student visas to Indians are being offered on a case-to-case basis. Vaccination from the WHO-approved vaccine list is mandatory.
Although reports state that the visa interview slots opened on June 14, there was a sudden rush for bookings which led to technical glitches.

The MEA has asked students to seek help from its Overseas India Affairs (OIA) division about difficulties they may encounter in reaching their universities abroad for on-campus academic programmes.

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