#EducationIsNotTourism: Iranian Students Demand Acceleration of Student Visa Application Processes

COVID-19 pandemic has widely affected students across the world, especially those who were expected to start or continue their studies abroad this year.

Travel restrictions imposed in a bid to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus in many world countries have triggered challenges for foreign students admitted to international universities, who hope they will not lose their study opportunities.

As a result, students worldwide have united under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism, calling on the competent bodies to assist in solving their problem.

Iranian students have been among the most vocal and have actively demanded through social media, mainly Twitter, the improvement of this situation, pointing out that they are waiting for months now to receive visa approvals.

“I’m a student from Iran admitted at a master program in Germany after 2 years of efforts. I don’t want more than what I tried for or deserve! we need to be heard!”, a student tweeted to the German Embassy in Tehran.

Many Iranian students have announced that they were expected to leave their home countries and move to Germany for their studies, but they remain waiting from embassies to resume their visas. These students are now asking the German Embassy to not postpone anymore the process of interviewing new students, thus preventing them from losing their chance to study in Germany.

Some of us have PhD admissions and are worried about their contracts expiring. Some of us have admission in MA programs and in the winter semester of 2020, their universities did not offer online programs, and they will not be able to differentiate their upcoming semester,” a student representing the group stated.

Meanwhile, a German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson previously told Erudera College News, that the Federal Office and its mission abroad are making efforts to issue visas to people who are exempted from current restrictions on entering Germany, including the visas for international students who cannot follow their university courses online.

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

Lately, 100 student visas have been approved to Iranian PhD students who have been admitted to Australian universities, after more than one year of waiting. Many other students are still waiting for a response from the embassy.

In an attempt to end the long wait, under another hashtag #still_waiting_for_visa, the Iranian students expressed indignation, claiming that these delays are unfair as students could lose their scholarships because they are not even allowed to begin their PhD projects remotely without getting the visa.

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