Visa Crunch

India pushes Australia to address the challenges faced by Indian students due to COVID-19 travel curbs

On Saturday, India urged Australia to sympathize with Indian students who are experiencing hardships as a result of Australia’s travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. India pushed Australia to relax coronavirus travel restrictions for thousands of students who have been unable to enter the nation since the outbreak began 18 months ago. Thousands of Indian students are sent to top international colleges around the world, with Australia being one of the most popular destinations. When External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton for the first ‘two-plus-two meeting here, the problem was raised.

Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urged Australia to resolve the challenges encountered by Indian students due to travel limitations in the nation during the maiden two-plus-two ministerial interaction on Saturday. The conversations included EAM Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.

“I specifically addressed up with Minister Payne the issues experienced by Indian students in Australia and those desiring to move to Australia, as well as the Indian origin population that is resident there,” Jaishankar said in a press briefing after the meeting. According to the foreign minister, the government is giving the challenges faced by students desiring to study abroad a “very high priority” and is working “very vigorously” with foreign partners such as the United States and Canada to address them.

“I believe their thoughts and frustrations are perfectly natural. Many of them would want to study at the colleges where they are now enrolled or plan to enroll. As a result, we talked about it in-depth today. Minister Payne informed me about Australia’s plans for when students will be allowed to visit,” Jaishankar added. Previously, the foreign ministry had emphasized its commitment to making travel easier for Indian students who have been accepted to universities overseas. 17 EU member nations and Switzerland have lifted travel bans on Indian citizens as a result of the government’s efforts. “There is a common goal on both sides to ensure that travel between our nations resume as soon as it is safe to do so,” Australian Foreign Minister Payne said. I’m looking forward to being one of the first individuals at the airport to greet Indian students returning to Australia.”

She went on to say that Australia is implementing a vaccination drive, followed by a phased reopening. Students would be able to return in step three, and foreign travel would presumably be available in phase four. “The Covid-19 limitations have hampered travel to and from Australia, not just for students, but for Australians themselves and even ministers,” she added for the time being.

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