China on Monday announced that it will resume visas for Indian students, which it had stopped for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 20,000 Indian medical students had returned from China in January 2020 when Covid-19 cases started increasing sharply in the country. They were unable to return to China to complete their studies due to Beijing’s stringent policies to contain the spread of the disease and the non-availability of direct flights.

Since February, several of these students have been demanding that they be allowed to return to Chinese universities. They have repeatedly urged the Indian government to take up the matter with China.

Also read: The unending struggles of Indian medical students barred from returning to China

On Monday, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi issued detailed instructions regarding visa applications.

“Warmest congrats to Indian students!” Ji Rong, counsellor at the Department of Asian Affairs in the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, said in a tweet while sharing details about the visa application process. “Your patience proves worthwhile. Welcome back to China.”

As per the announcement, China will issue student visas to the newly-enrolled students and the old students who could not travel to China because of the pandemic.

While the new students have been asked to produce an original admission letter issued by a university in China, the old students need to submit a ‘Certificate of Returning to Campus’ issued by their university in China.

However, some universities in China are not issuing such letters citing an increase of Covid-19 cases in their provinces, according to The Hindu.

Meanwhile, direct flights between India and China are yet to resume.

Those who had travelled to the country through indirect routes, had paid several times higher than the normal ticket rates.

Indian and Chinese officials say that talks are on between the two countries to resume flights, PTI reported.