Almost 4,000 Pakistani students were expected to leave their home country and head to other world countries to start or continue their studies for this academic year.
However, as a result of COVID-19 developments, embassies continue to postpone student visa issuance, which could lead to students losing scholarships or their places at universities where they have been admitted to.
Students in Pakistan must wait at least one year to receive visa approvals and become eligible for pursuing studies abroad.
A group of Pakistani students who have received scholarships from international universities said that they are under so much pressure as the winter semester in foreign universities starts in October, and in case they do not receive their visas on time, universities could cancel their scholarships and remove them from the admission list.
“The Government of Pakistan should request or protest to foreign embassies to issue visas of Pakistani students within one month time so that they will attend winter semester classes abroad,” a representative of the students’ group said.
Due to delays with visa processing, a considerable number of students have already suffered the cancellation of their scholarships or admission at universities in Germany.
“Students in Pakistan are having their dreams killed. Please do not waste our preparations and efforts. Start speedy master priority appointments. They are waiting since 1.5 years. There is so much of uncertainty,” a student tweeted to the German Ambassador to Pakistan.
Affected students in Pakistan have expressed their indignation over this situation, saying that the problem with student visa delays has been present in Pakistan even before, claiming that the embassies refuse to collaborate with students even during a global crisis.
Pakistani students have urged the competent bodies to start working towards this issue by changing the appointment system as soon as possible in order to“not ruin their dreams”.
They have called on the federal government to begin the establishment of a special Cell in Pakistan’s Federal Higher Education Commission which would offer visa facilitations to Pakistan’s students set to study at foreign universities.
United under the hashtag #PakPhDsAwaitingAusVisas, PhD students from Pakistan have also demanded from the embassies the acceleration of visa issuance procedures.
Many Bangladeshi students are facing the same challenges. They have also joined with other world students in social media, under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism to share their experiences with embassies and raise their voice on this problem.
In a similar situation are also the Iranian students who have continually been calling on the embassies to find a solution and simplify these processes, claiming that they have also been waiting for months now for their visa approvals.