Visa Crunch

Indian Govt. affirms the highest priority towards smooth travel of students to their international study destinations

The Indian government has stated that ensuring that Indians, including students, business people, and stranded family members, can travel freely again is a top priority.

“This is the only way forward for a country like India, which is so deeply ingrained in the global community. The Indian government is fully committed to meeting these obstacles. With the pandemic situation improving and the caseload decreasing, our Ministry began focusing on removing travel restrictions and making international travel easier for Indians.

In a speech to the All India Management Association on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “We have been particularly concerned about students, stranded family members, and businesspersons.” The agreement on a common global insight on vaccination, certification, and travel modalities is part of the normalization of global business and travel.

“However, as COVID-19 vaccination spreads across many countries, there is a growing sentiment to relax restrictions, such as exempting vaccinated travelers from mandatory quarantine upon entry,” he said, adding, “The EU recently implemented the EU Digital COVID Certificate, also known as the Green Pass to facilitate the travel of Indian citizens, we are also actively involved with the EU.” We informed all EU member states that India would implement a reciprocal policy for foreign nationals entering the country.” During the minister’s visit to the UK last month, he personally raised concerns with his counterparts about India’s continued inclusion on the UK’s red list. On August 4, the UK moved India from the Red to the Amber list. With 28 countries, India now has ‘Air Bubble Arrangements.’ These are aimed at resuming commercial passenger services in the wake of the pandemic, which has resulted in the cancellation of regular international flights. The agreement is reciprocal, which means that airlines from both countries benefit from the same benefits.

Air Bubble agreements have been negotiated with the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Since then, tens of thousands of people have traveled to the Gulf countries to take up jobs and conduct business, including tourism and reunions with family. Indian nationals with resident visas have been allowed to return to Qatar and Bahrain. Qatar has begun allowing Indian citizens with visit visas to enter the country. This month, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait began allowing Indian nationals with resident visas to return after completing their vaccinations, testing, and quarantine requirements. More restrictions are expected to be eased, which will advantage Indian citizens.

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