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China eases visa ban for Indian students: Here's all you need to know about X1-Visa

China on Monday announced plans to issue visas to hundreds of Indian students stranded at home for over two years due to Beijing's strict COVID-19 restrictions.

China eases visa ban for Indian students: Here's all you need to know about X1-Visa snt
Beijing, First Published Aug 22, 2022, 10:09 PM IST

China had revealed plans to grant visas to hundreds of Indian students stuck at home for more than two years due to Beijing's stringent COVID-19 regulations. In addition, China will grant Indians various travel authorizations, including business visas.

"Warmest congrats to #Indian #students! Your patience proves worthwhile. I can really share your excitement & happiness. Welcome back to #China!" Ji Rong, Counsellor, Department of Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China tweeted. 

Her tweet referenced a thorough press release issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi announcing the opening of visas for students, businesspeople, and family members of those employed in China.

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As per the announcement, X1-Visa, will be issued to students who intend to go to China to pursue long-term study for higher academic education, including newly-enrolled students and students who return to China to resume their studies.

Due to COVID-19 visa limitations, over 23,000 Indian students—most of whom are studying medicine—are stranded at home. China requested the names of students who wanted to return immediately to continue their studies, and India responded with a list of several hundred pupils. Some students from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Russia and several other countries have already arrived on chartered flights in recent weeks. 

According to a notification published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, new and current students who could not travel to China owing to COVID-19 visa prohibitions would be awarded student visas.

Older students must show a "Certificate of Returning to Campus" given by the Chinese university, while new students must present an actual admission letter from a Chinese university.

Also read: Covid-19 outbreak in China's summer vacation hotspots leave thousands stranded: Report

Over 1,000 former Indian students reportedly expressed a desire to come back and resume their studies, according to official sources. It remains to be seen if the universities handling their applications will grant the credentials needed for them to submit a visa application. The absence of direct flights between the two nations was also a significant issue.

A chartered flight hired by Indian businessmen and their families recently made its first arrival in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in more than two years.

China started allowing the family members of Indian professionals to work there in July. Many arrived via routes through third countries, paying fares many times more expensive than standard.

According to officials from China and India, negotiations to restart flight operations are ongoing.

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The category of visas the Chinese embassy in India announced on Monday included C-Visa issued to crew members. Other categories of visas announced by the embassy included M-Visa issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities, F-Visa issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other non-commercial activities and Z-Visa for those who intend to work in China. Other category permits included visas for the dependents of those working in China.

(With inputs from PTI)

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