Afghan Students at JNU Afraid to Return, Seek Visa Extension Amid Crisis Back Home | A Report

New Delhi: Several students from Afghanistan studying at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are not willing to return to their country and want to extend their visas through academic courses. The students are worried about their stay in India as their visa tenure is about to expire within months. The visas of most of these students will expire by December this year, however, with the situation in Afghanistan turning volatile, they don’t want to go back and they want to extend their visa through academic courses, such as a PhD course, sources close to news agency ANI said.Also Read – Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Resigns Amid Taliban Takeover, Flees to Tajikistan: Sources

“For a war-torn country like Afghanistan, most of the people are extensively unemployed and trying to escape from either death or captivity. Arranging a ‘hefty fee’ seems impossible.” said Afghan students in JNU while talking to ANI. Terminal students need to leave the hostel by September 23, and the narrow financial capacity is making them unsure of their accommodation. Also Read – Final Air India Flight From Kabul Reaches Delhi With 129 Onboard, Contingency Plans in Talks

“Situation is extremely critical there. I am hoping that the administration will understand our situation and extend my visa permit. Also, PhD in JNU is highly expensive for foreign nationals, and for poor families that are certainly not the possible way out. However, at present, I really don’t know what to do,” Jalaluddin, a JNU student, said. Also Read – Afghanistan Crisis: Our forces Have no Plans to Take Kabul by Force, Say Taliban; Residents Flee as Fear Grips City | Top Points

Students’ plea

Shafiq Sultan, a student of International Relations and Area studies in JNU, said, “My visa will expire by December 31. I was a government employee before I came here to study. I am sure if I go back they will capture me. My family is staying in the area captured by the Taliban and I am unable to contact them for the last one and a half weeks. The tension is scaling up, we definitely need help.”

Ali Asghar, an Afghan student at JNU, said that his visa tenure will expire within three months. “I spoke with my father a week ago, he told me my family is escaping to another area because the Taliban may take control over our city. They do not want me to come back but the fee structure for foreign students is extremely high which we cannot bear without family’s support. And my family is completely unemployed,” he said.

Visa rule

Upon expiry of a student visa, one cannot work or study until a new permit is given. Also, while extending a visa, one must be sure that their passport’s expiry date is not around the same time. The study permit cannot be extended beyond the passport’s expiry date, said the sources.

Varsity’s statement

JNU administration released a press note on August 14 stating: “Some Afghan students of JNU have requested the JNU administration to facilitate their return to the Campus. As the University has remained closed as per the latest Circular issued by the DDMA, Govt. of NCT, Delhi, this matter is currently being looked into.”

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