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‘Kick in the teeth’: UK omits India from relaxed student visa rules; students upset
The National Indian Students and Alumni Union, UK, also expressed disappointment over the move, which it said effectively categorises Indian students as “high risk”.

  The UK government’s decision to exclude India from a new list of countries considered “low risk”, which facilitates an easier visa application process to country’s universities, has invited backlash from Indian students who will now be subjected to intense scrutiny.

As part of changes made in the immigration policy which was tabled in the UK Parliament on Friday, the Home Office announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries. This means that students from countries like China, Bahrain and Serbia will now face reduced checks on educational, financial and English language skill requirements to study at the country’s varsities.

“Students from an additional 11 countries, including China, will be able to provide a reduced level of documentation when applying for their Tier 4 visa,” a statement by the Home Office statement said.

However, Indian students applying for similar courses would be subjected to rigorous checks and documentation.

The changes, which are likely to be rolled out on July 6, were made with an aim to simplify the visa application process for international students going to the UK to study.

Condemning this latest development, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin entrepreneur and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), said, “I consider this another kick in the teeth for India… This sends entirely the wrong message to India, to exclude it from these Tier 4 measures. The government has simply got it wrong.”
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