Have you planned to study abroad in 2021? Are you doubtful you might not get approved for the student visa? In this blog, we have the news regarding the visa for top study destinations like the US, UK, Canada and more.
When the pandemic hit, international students studying abroad faced many challenges in getting or renewing a visa. With vaccine development, universities in foreign countries are opening up and welcoming students on campus. Consulates of Canada, the UK, the US, and other countries have started operating partially, allowing students to apply for a visa to study abroad. Let’s look at the student visa news for each of these top study-abroad destinations and what new processes they have put in place for students wishing to study in their country.
Student visa news COVID-19 information: Where do countries stand?
Here are some countries and their current status of processing student visa after the covid19 pandemic.
The Canadian visa application centres are partially functional for international students and family class applicants.
The country is inviting applicants from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam to apply for a Student Permit through the Student Direct Stream. The applications received through this stream are processed within 20 calendar days, allowing students to accrue a visa well before their semester start date.
If you are looking to study in Canada this fall, read about the Canada visa application process and requirements, and book an appointment online.
Moreover, Canada is sending a Biometric Instruction Letter to the visa applicants who have already applied before. They can use this letter to book an appointment to enrol their biometrics.
If you are from any of the red-listed countries shared by the UK government, you will not be allowed to enter the country. However, the UK visa application centres have begun a phased resumption in Bangladesh, Australia, UAE, India, and eight other countries.
Since they are subject to each region’s local lockdown regulations, it is advisable to check the UK immigration website for the latest information on dates and timings.
Remember that you will need to book an appointment online to visit the visa application centre. And be ready to be tested for your temperature and other COVID-19-related symptoms.
United States of America
As of student visa news on January 25, the US has restricted all non-US citizens from China, Iran, Schengen, UK, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa.
Meanwhile, India’s US Embassy and consulates are yet to resume all visa categories’ regular services. But they are open on a limited basis for students in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. For example, only emergency appointments are being accepted in Mumbai.
The US Embassy in Delhi has resumed limited processing of all visa categories. These include US student visas, H1-B, H4, L-1, L-2, C1/D, and B1/B2 visas.
Their website states that “Our capacity is limited, however, to maintain the safety of our customers and staff. Once consulates can do so, they will likewise expand services.”
The Australian embassy is giving appointments free of charge through its online portal. This is only for students who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and could not complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19. This includes students who-
- Deferred their study as they were unable to enter Australia due to travel restrictions
- Were forced to reduce to a part-time study load
- Were unable to complete their work-based training or placements
However, if you need a new student visa for common reasons, you will not be allowed to apply.
But keep in mind – this is only a temporary measure until the impact of COVID-19 shifts for the better.
At first, the New Zealand government had suspended people’s ability to apply for most temporary visas. The New Zealand border remained closed to everyone but New Zealand citizens and New Zealand residents.
Later, however, the New Delhi New Zealand visa application centre resumed limited operations. It has been receiving applications from non-New Zealand citizens or residents who meet the border exceptions criteria. These include travelling for:
- Partners and family
- Work visa holders
- Critical health workers
- Other critical works
- Pacific Islanders
- Humanitarian reasons, and
- PhD and postgraduate students
With that in mind, not all PhD and postgraduate students will get this permission. But all those who want to be eligible for it should hold (or should have held) a visa to study in New Zealand in 2020. Eligible students who could not enter the country will be considered through their contact at the university they have been accepted by.
Even though most countries have only resumed their visa processes partially, rest assured that things are getting better.
The highest priority for vaccination goes to international students to resume their education in foreign countries.
Here we have answered some frequently asked questions for your help.
Q1. Are embassies open in the USA?
Ans. The Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March 2020 and will continue to do so as they are able.
Q2. What is the difference between an embassy and a consulate?
Ans. There isn’t much difference between an embassy, a consulate, and a high commission from a traveller’s perspective. An embassy is a base for a country’s diplomatic mission abroad, meaning all of its political, cultural, and social relationships. A consulate performs consular services.
We truly hope we were able to resolve any queries you might have had. For further assistance, feel free to contact our counsellors at ForeignAdmits.