The impact of COVID-19 restrictions has led to the closure of visa application centers, which is making it difficult for international students to reach their respective destinations in near future. Experts related to the industry have expressed concerns that if continued, these restrictions will prevent the prospective students to commence their studies from September.
These centers are meant for particular tasks such as collection of biometric data, documents and in some countries for one-on-one interview between the applicant and the visa officials. The formalities differ from country to country, however as the functioning of these centers have been jeopardized, it is causing delays for the overall visa processing, discouraging the students to step into their favorite destination for the coming semester.
The Universities and agents across the world are working in close contact with the government to consider the re-opening of borders for international students. In this view, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have started to show interests in easing off the restrictions soon to allow international students to enter the country, following the protocols and precautionary measures.
Another concern is for how long will these centers remains closed? There is no clarity on this subject and once they are re-opened, there will be a huge back log for the authorities to process the applications. This will further delay the processing of the applications of those who applied later. Though, there has been comforting statements from countries like UK that there will be faster processing, however on practical grounds, delays are inevitable.
Universities and educational institutes have now started looking for alternative methods of admissions and classes so that students continue with their education till the time they are able to land in the desired country. This includes virtual interactive sessions and online classes. Distance learning is being promoted to cope with the present situation. Though the underlying fact remains that there is uncertainty and doubts on the future of students seeing admissions abroad. However, patience and cooperation is required from the applicants as well as the countries to devise a sustainable solution for studies until the situation is restored. The best solution for the students is to go for online courses of reputed universities across main countries like USA, Canada, UK and Australia.
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