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UK Visa Curbs Make It Tougher For Aspiring Indian Students

The countries figuring in the revised list include US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, China, Bhutan, Bahrain and Serbia among others.

Bengtaluru: The United Kingdom government's decision to exclude India from the revised list of countries eligible for relaxed student visas is likely to make students aspiring for foreign studies to rethink their options.

While stakeholders working in the sector of foreign higher education remark the move as shocking, this would also mean that Indian students will now have to go through a tedious process for documentation and application for Tier 4 student visas.

The countries figuring in the revised list include US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, China, Bhutan, Bahrain and Serbia among others. The move has also upset students currently studying in UK. Arnold (name changed), an architecture student, hailing from Bengaluru, at University of Cambridge told Deccan Chronicle that the latest decision has given a negative sentiment for Indian students as a whole.

"The move to recognise us as citizens from a 'high risk' category country itself is disappointing. The perception of such a development is totally negative, as our counterparts from other countries now will have an unfair advantage over us for everything," he said.

Arnold added that completion of the documentation process would now turn out to be a nightmare for fresh applicants, whereas those already in the UK will face difficulty in finding part-time jobs.

No new hurdles: UK

However, representatives of the UK government claim that Indian students would face no additional challenges in due completion of the process.

A British High Commission spokesperson clarified that this announcement would put no additional hurdle to genuine Indian students trying to pursue higher education in the UK.

"The fact that the year ending March 2018 saw a 30% increase in Tier 4 visas issued to Indian students is a proof that the current system allows for strong growth in this area," the spokesperson said. In 2017, India remained the third largest country availing student visas from UK, recording an increase of 27% for the same.

Taranpreet Singh Khanuja, a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick hoped that the bilateral talks that are currently taking place favour Indian students at the UK.

"The only impact would be on the job opportunities one would seek here post studies. I'd suggest Indian students to see this positive - complete the course, go back home and try implementing what one has gained for the betterment there. Paying back loans from part-time jobs or post-study placements would be challenging as the living expenses here are very high," he said over the phone from UK.

Vivek Kumar, a hospitality and tourism graduate who returned back to India after studies, claimed that even before this announcement the stringent laws put into practice had already begun taking a toll on opportunities.

"This would further add to the worries of students there and undoubtedly will influence aspiring overseas Indian students to pick Canada and Australia over UK from now on," he said.

Vamsi Krishna, Regional Manager, SI-UK, opined that UK would not hamper their revenue from Indian students and would take a reasonable call on the issue.

"There has been a 30% increase in success visa rates last year as well and the process, assumedly, would not get more stringent. We'll have to wait till the official declaration of the revised list of required documents till next week," he said.

Canada other option

Meanwhile Canadian Immigration Division has claimed that there has been a 58% jump for study permits in 2017 from that of previous year. As many as 83,410 Indian students availed study permits in Canada during 2017.

Meanwhile Canadian Immigration Division has claimed that there has been a 58% jump for study permits in 2017 from that of previous year. As many as 83,410 Indian students availed study permits in Canada during 2017.