On Monday, China said that despite COVID-19 limitations, at least 1,300 Indian students had been granted visas to enter the country. Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated at a routine press conference: “As far as I know, the cross-border flow of personnel between China and India has improved notwithstanding COVID-19.
A media enquiry about Chinese colleges delaying No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to Indian students was answered by saying that at least 1,300 Indian students had been given Chinese visas. Indian students should plan their return to university and maintain regular contact with their universities, he added.
“The channels for communication between Indian students and Chinese universities remain open. We suggest that Indian students stay in close touch with their universities and plan their return to campus according to the arrangement of their universities,” said Lijian.
According to reports, 40 Chinese colleges still haven’t given Indian students the NOCs they need to submit visa applications for China. Thousands of Indian students are impacted by this. A handful of these institutions claimed that their provincial government was preventing them from granting NOCs, despite the fact that the majority of these universities are not responding to their requests.
Replying to questions on whether is there any timeline while issuing the same documents to students from other countries, Lijian said, “I know you have followed very closely the developments regarding Indian students’ return to China. I would refer you to the competent Chinese authorities.”
“I can tell you that the Chinese government welcomes foreign students to resume or start their studies in China, and the government has provided possible assistance to the students who need it. Foreign students who wish to acquire a degree in China can apply for visas in Chinese embassies and consulates overseas. Since August 24, foreigners holding a valid residence permit for study can enter China directly with that permit,” he added.
Notably, China has started issuing visas to foreign students who have received approval from their colleges and universities to return and continue their studies there. But since airline operations between the two nations have not yet resumed, they find it difficult to get to China.
According to reports, COVID visa limitations have kept over 23,000 Indian students, most of whom are studying medicine, at home. The Indian Embassy in Beijing earlier on Sunday issued a formal advisory to students wishing to pursue medical studies in China.
“The Embassy continues to receive queries from prospective Indian students as well as their parents regarding eligibility for Indian students who are pursuing clinical medicine programmes in China to appear in the qualifying examination conducted by the National Medical Commission of India,” stated the press release. The National Medical Commission’s Gazette Notification of November 18, 2021, was directed at Indian medical students and their parents (NMC).
The release added, “It has unambiguously stated in Clause 4(b) that foreign medical students must be registered with the respective professional regulatory body or otherwise, competent to grant the licence to practice medicine in their respective jurisdiction of the country in which the medical degree is awarded and at par with the licence to practice medicine given to a citizen of that country”.
The Embassy also informed the relevant Chinese authorities and medical colleges of the situation and requested that they see to it that all Indian students enrolling in clinical medicine programmes in China are properly educated, trained, and facilitated so that they can meet the aforementioned NMC requirements.
“Any student, who joins for clinical medicine program in China after November 2021 and fails to obtain a licence to practice as a medical doctor in China, will be rendered ineligible to appear for Foreign Medical Graduate Examination,” read the release.
The Embassy also responded to a question regarding whether Indian students who complete their medical education in China without obtaining a medical practitioner licence in China may work in Chinese hospitals in a position such as an assistant doctor in order to support themselves and pay off student loans.
“The Embassy has formally approached relevant Chinese authorities to confirm the existence of such an option. The Embassy will share any information, when received from the Chinese side, in its social media handles,” according to the release.