Students call for visa processing to resume with Education Is Not Tourism hashtag

According to a report the hashtag was used by Iranian students who were dissatisfied with how the German Embassy is handling student visa issuance during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We still are asking you to start the visa process. We are under too much stress

Now students from countries all over the world, including India and Nigeria, are tweeting their frustration with how visa applications are being handled. 

“Some of us have PhD admissions and are worried about their contracts expiring. Some of us have admission in MA programs and for the winter semester of 2020, their universities did not offer online programs,” one group of students said.

VFS Global, an outsourcing company that manages visa applications for governments, shows on its website that many visa application centres around the world are still not up and running- meaning some students are still unable to reach their study destinations. 

It is not fair that our classmates from other countries are starting their studies in Germany, but we still are asking you to start the visa process. We are under too much stress, said one student on Twitter.

Germany announced on May 5 that it was stopping accepting applications from multiple countries including Algeria, Cambodia, Jordan, Myanmar Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Oman, India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and China. 

Since then the reopening of centres has been sporadic and not all visa types are being processed. At the time of writing VFS Global was not offering information around whether German centres were open in Iran and Nigeria. 

As of September 3, one German centre in India – Kolkata – has resumed accepting limited applications for certain visas.

A German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson told, that the office and its missions abroad are working diligently to issue visas to persons exempt from current restrictions on entry to Germany as quickly as possible. This includes foreign students whose course of study is not fully possible from abroad.

However, due to the Covid-19 situation and ongoing restrictions in public life in many countries, a number of our visa sections remains closed until further notice while others can only provide a limited number of appointments,” the spokesperson said. 

“With a view to protecting both applicants and staff, our missions have set in place strict security measures (e.g. shift work, minimum distance regulations for application counters and waiting areas) that can also affect processing capacities,” they added.

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