China lifts two-year COVID visa ban on Indians; to allow return of stranded Indian professionals, families
China has announced plans to provide visas to Indian professionals and their families stranded in India for over two years following the strict visa restrictions imposed by Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the Chinese Embassy in India updated its COVID-19 visa policy after over two years to accept visa applications of foreign nationals and their accompanying family members wanting to go to China for resumption of work in all fields.
It is a big relief for hundreds of Indian professionals and their families who are stuck back home since 2020.
Besides the Indians, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said family members of Chinese citizens and foreigners with Chinese permanent residence permits going to China for family reunions or visiting relatives can apply for visas.
However, visas for tourism and private purposes remain suspended, the Chinese Embassy announcement said.
In April, after prolonged representations from India, China agreed to permit the return of “some'' stranded Indian students and asked the Indian Embassy here to collect the details of the students wanting to return.
As per earlier reports, over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine in Chinese colleges, are stuck in India after they returned home as the coronavirus broke out in China in December 2019. They could not return to China due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government to arrest the spread of the contagion.
China is yet to come up with a criterion to permit the return of the students as Beijing is reluctant to allow such large number of people to return at once in view the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Currently, only diplomats between the two countries travel through the expensive third-country flight routes.
However, China’s visa announcement has created hope that flight services too may be resumed between the two countries soon.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)