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Consider student visa emergency service

by Khan Helal

Bangladeshi students studying at various German universities, stuck in the country ever since the second wave of Covid-19 broke out, have appealed to the German Embassy in Dhaka and the foreign ministry to facilitate student visa processing amid the “lockdown”, considering it as an emergency and special service.

Due to movement restrictions, nearly 1,000 Bangladeshi students admitted to nearly 350 German universities have been unable to reach their campuses due to visa complications, they said.

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At a press conference held at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday, the students called on the government and the German Embassy to take their appeal into count. They also submitted a memorandum to the foreign ministry in this regard.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Nazim Uddin, a student of Germany’s OTH Ambergen Weiden University, said though the students can attend classes online, some of the universities have already informed them that they have to be physically present at campus by August.

“If the foreign ministry takes the initiative, we will be able to save our studentship,” he said.

Nazim Uddin said that among the students who applied for visa interviews and visas in last year’s June, only 150 were able to completed their visa process at the German Embassy, while around 1,000 applied but did not get visas.

“Due to the lockdown, issuing German visas is halted. But it is possible to carry out the process by following health guidelines,” he said.

Speakers at the press conference said that almost all the students have deposited around Tk 11 lakh in block accounts, while many others have already submitted their tuition fees.

In an attempt to have their voices heard, students from Bangladesh have joined a social media campaign under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism, alongside students from different countries.

For months, the students have been urging embassies and other important bodies to help sort out their visa issues so that they’re studies are not interrupted.

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