Poland challenge for Indian medical students returning to Ukraine

Poland challenge for Indian medical students returning to Ukraine

With no direct flights to Ukraine, many students have opted to travel through Poland but are allegedly facing rejection of their visa applications from Polish authorities.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Thursday, March 16, 2023, 11:53 AM IST
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More than 18,000 Indian students were studying in Ukraine prior to the start of its war with Russia. | PTI

Indian medical students, who had to leave Ukraine due to the country’s prolonged war with Russia, are returning to the East European country through Poland, which they say has created a lot of hurdles for them. 

With no direct flights to Ukraine, many students have opted to travel through Poland but are allegedly facing rejection of their visa applications from Polish authorities. 

Polish authorities need more proof, claim students

Ravi Gupta, a student at Ukraine’s Ternopil National Medical University, tried his luck at obtaining a transit visa multiple times but got disappointed every time due to the Polish authorities allegedly asking him for more proof of his assurance that he will travel to Ukraine from the neighbouring country.

“They worry that students might stay back in Poland instead of going to Ukraine despite having a temporary residence permit of Ukraine with me,” said Ravi, who sent in his visa application on February 16 but didn’t find success in getting it cleared.

To ensure that they reach Ukraine and don’t face any obstacles, students like Ravi have opted to attach additional documents such as an invitation letter, which is issued by the respective universities along with their recommendation letters. 

“I applied for the visa again with additional supporting documents on March 6 and am awaiting a response from the authorities,” stated Ravi.

Ravi Gupta

Ravi Gupta |

Though conducting interviews are not necessary to attain transit visas, authorities consider them based on one’s circumstances.

Vivek Gupta, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and has his interview scheduled on March 20, expects questions from Polish authorities on his decision to travel to Ukraine, which if not convincing enough can delay his travel again. 

“I have taken medical insurance which is valid for five days and mentioned my accommodation details at the University as well so that the authorities are aware of my reasons to go to Ukraine and don’t reject my application again,” said Vivek.

Students write apology letters to Embassy for missing Nov chance

As some students didn’t take the chance to travel to Poland in November 2022 when they were offered visas, they now have written apology letters to the Embassy to express their regrets for missing the opportunity. 

“I have also written an apology letter and attached it along with my documents so that the authorities consider my request,” said the fifth-year MBBS student Ankush Dohar, a student from Karnal in Haryana, who added that he can’t afford to transfer his credits to another country and will only take a decision on the same once he is done with his eighth semester.

Ankush Dohar

Ankush Dohar |

'Granting 100% transit visas to Indian students,' says Polish CG

Refuting the claims, Polish Consul General in Mumbai, Damian Irzyk, told the Free Press Journal that Poland’s record in granting visas contradicts student accounts.

“We have a record of granting 100% transit visas to students. There can be an issue of lack of interview slots due to the demand sometimes from city to city but most students get their visa applications cleared without any hurdles,” stated Irzyk.

NMC rule leaves students looking for diff options amid SC decision

With the National Medical Commission (NMC) allowing Ukraine-returned students to relocate to universities in other countries and complete their studies under the academic mobility programme, the latter are making their move to countries such as Russia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, etc which offer cheap and quality medical education.

A group of petitions, asking for permission for Indian medical students who have returned from Ukraine to finish their education in the country, were postponed by the Supreme Court of India last month. The court had stated that a decision would be made on the matter by an expert committee assembled by the central government, details of which are yet to be made public. 

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