China on Monday said that at least 1,300 Indian students have received Chinese visas despite COVID-19 restrictions.
In a regular press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “As far as I know, despite COVID-19, progress has been made in the cross-border flow of personnel between China and India. At least 1,300 Indian students have received Chinese visas,” in response to a media query on Chinese universities delaying “no objection certificates (NOCs) to Indian students.”
He further advised Indian students to stay in close touch with their universities and plan their return to campus.
“The channels for communication between Indian students and Chinese universities remain open. We suggest that Indian students stay in close touch with their universities and plan their return to campus according to the arrangement of their universities,” said Lijian.
As per reports, 40 Chinese universities have still not issued Indian students the NOCs required to apply for Chinese visas. This is affecting thousands of Indian students. While many of these universities are not replying to their requests, a few universities said that their provincial government is stopping them from issuing the NOCs.
Replying to questions on whether is there any timeline while issuing the same documents to students from other countries, Lijian said, “I know you have followed very closely the developments regarding Indian students’ return to China. I would refer you to the competent Chinese authorities. I can tell you that the Chinese government welcomes foreign students to resume or start their studies in China, and the government has provided possible assistance to the students who need it. Foreign students who wish to acquire a degree in China can apply for visas in Chinese embassies and consulates overseas. Since August 24, foreigners holding a valid residence permit for study can enter China directly with that permit.”
Notably, China began issuing visas for students who obtain permits from their Chinese colleges and universities to return to take up their studies.
But they find it hard to travel to China as both countries have yet to resume flight services.
Over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine, are reportedly stuck back home due to COVID visa restrictions.
Earlier on Sunday, Indian Embassy in Beijing issued a comprehensive advisory to students planning to study medicine in China.
“The Embassy continues to receive queries from prospective Indian students as well as their parents regarding eligibility for Indian students who are pursuing clinical medicine programme in China to appear in the qualifying examination conducted by the National Medical Commission of India,” stated the press release.
It advised Indian medical students and their parents to see the Gazette Notification dated November 18, 2021, by the National Medical Commission (NMC).
“It has unambiguously stated in Clause 4(b) that foreign medical students must be “registered with the respective professional regulatory body or otherwise, competent to grant the license to practice medicine in their respective jurisdiction of the country in which the medical degree is awarded and at par with the license to practice medicine given to a citizen of that country,” added the release.
The Embassy also apprised the Chinese authorities concerned and medical colleges with a request that they should ensure that all Indian students coming to China for clinical medicine programmes are educated, trained, and facilitated so that they can fulfill the above requirements of NMC.
“Any student, who joins for clinical medicine program in China after November 2021 and fails to obtain a license to practice as a medical doctor in China, will be rendered ineligible to appear for Foreign Medical Graduate Examination,” read the release.
The Embassy also cleared a query on whether Indian students can work in Chinese hospitals in a capacity such as “assistant doctor” after completing their medical education in China but fail to obtain a medical practitioner license in China so as to enable them to earn a living and pay back education loans.
“The Embassy has formally approached relevant Chinese authorities to confirm the existence of such an option. The Embassy will share any information, when received from the Chinese side, in its social media handles,” said the release.