Visa Crunch

Omicron Threat: Indian Students Are Travelling To Their Study Destination In Advance In Fear Of Border Closure

The Omicron threat is forcing students studying abroad to fly there in advance, to ensure that they don’t get stranded, in case of flights get cancelled, or there is an increase in fares.

For instance, Ashwil Melita Veigas, a resident of Bajal, Mangaluru, has travelled back to Australia almost two months in advance. A cyber security student at Deakin University, Australia.

She said, “my course commences on March 1. With Covid cases rising, I fear that the borders could be sealed again. The moment bookings opened, I booked my ticket and landed here on December 20. I have been planning my higher studies for the past four years and did not want Covid-19 to ruin it,” Ashwil told The Times of India.

A resident of Bengaluru, Seetaram, who has secured admission to Brunel University London, United Kingdom for an MSc in engineering management, has travelled a month in advance. He said that generally, students studying abroad fly a week or two in advance before the course commences.

“Since my study visa started a month before the start of my programme, I decided to get there earlier. This was because I saw that the airfares were getting more expensive, and the fear of rising cases of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. I have been recommending the same to my friends. Reaching here early also helps you settle down at ease before classes commence,” said Seetaram, whose classes begin in the first week of January.

The Managing Director of a Study Abroad Consultancy Kanan International and EdTech company KananPrep, Manish Shah, said that there is absolutely no reason for panic.

“Countries like Canada, UK, US, and others have kept their borders opened and are well prepared to welcome fully vaccinated students. We have send our students to these countries without any difficulties. Moreover, it is important for foreign universities to keep communicating with their students,” Shah said.

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