Best and Worst Visa Regimes for Pakistani Students:
Best countries to apply for a student visa on Pakistani Passport:
The best ever country, indeed, now a days for prospective Pakistani students (who cannot simply afford the high budget / expenditure) planning to go for study abroad is Italy with visa ratio of 70%-90% (2019-2020) with fully funded regional and federal scholarships. Please go to Study in Italy under Study Abroad section for further info.
The visa ratio for prospective foundation students from Pakistan is almost 99% for this Schengen state provided they cater the lump sump tuition fee worth 18,000 € and show the same amount of money in the bank statement to maintain their boarding and lodging expenses per year. In other words, only families from Pakistan with lucrative income can afford to send their kids to Holland. No block amount like Germany is required.
Amidst Corona pandemic, those who really are doubtful that this is the end of UK student visa regime are dead wrong. In fact, when it comes foreign students, UK is still considered to be one of the best possible destinations for study, part-time work, post-study work (PSW) and immigration route based on qualification and work experience of a foreign student in UK. It should be noted that due to the Corona Pandemic, UK GDP growth rate has just shrunk by 1.5% as compare to Australia, Canada, USA, France, Spain, Ireland and host of other developed and third world countries. Now a days, the present visa ratio is all time best specially for the students from non-EU states such India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in south Asian region.
Are the nationals from red-list countries allowed to travel with student visas to the UK?
The confirmed answer to this is “Yes and of course” they are: For the students from the countries in the red-list, the visa operations would be all time in full flow from June 2021 for September 2021 intake since according to the conditions given below by UKVI (UK Visa and Immigration), the following individuals can still enter in the UK provided he / she is:
A British National
A Citizen of Ireland
A person holding residential rights in the UK.
Since the foreign students applying to study in the UK from red-list countries fall in Category # 3 i.e. “A person holding residence rights in the UK.” Hence foreign students are still allowed to travel to the UK after obtaining the visas from UK Visa Centers after the submission of their CAS letter, travelling docs, academic docs, financial docs and other required docs for the September 2021 session since they will be automatically entitled to residence rights while studying therein the UK.
The only problem is that the foreign students from red list countries would be admitted to certain UKVI selected hotels immediately upon their arrival in the UK and will have to pay £ 1,750 for 10 days quarantine period that includes boarding, lodging, meal and two corona tests. The good news is that the Universities in the UK are currently working with UKVI to make sure that the burden of paying £ 1,750 each by the visa applicant could be transferred to the UK Education Sponsors i.e. the universities in the UK who would wave it off from their tuition fee amount. Anyone who claims that part time jobs for foreign students are scarce is wrong. Even with Post-Corona Pandemic scenario, there are more prospects for part time jobs available to the Non-EU foreign students in the Post-Brexit situation there in the UK which has ceased the citizens from EU to come to the UK and study there because the EU citizens outside the UK would not have same privileges as they used to have like UK citizens before Brexit.
Although comparatively a bit more expensive than Australia, Canada and UK, USA has still its own unique charm and exquisite prospects to attract foreign students from all over the world. Reason; the biggest country with 50 states offers tremendous opportunities with state of the art education in any field that you name it and they have it for the ones who are academically talented. That’s why; it is still undoubtedly known as a land of opportunities. USA is still wide-open to Pakistani students who (1) are talented and (2) can afford tremendous cost to study and live in or around world best universities out there. For if you have have both of the above mentioned things then visa is not a problem for you at all to begin with. Like UK and some other countries, US Embassy in Islamabad and the Consulate General at Karachi, both currently are operational as far as student visas are concerned in spite of Corona Pandemic scenario.
Worst countries to apply for a student visa on Pakistani passport:
For a student who is a holder of Pakistani Passport, Austria could be the worst possible destination to achieve and most probably … a nightmare. Specially, for those Pakistani students who are either willing to study in most economical universities such as University of Vienna or equally the ones with fully funded scholarships. If you want to drag yourself for months to an year or may be more with must costlier legalization of your academic and other documentation you can ever think of. Austria is a country currently with a visa ratio of 5%-10% only for Pakistani students. The worst of all things is that Austrian Embassy requires all of the original academic documents to be sent to Vienna Immigration Office to be verified thoroughly … a procedure exactly same as that of Greek Cyprus and something which a common Pakistani student visa applicant is less likely to afford.
Once so popular for its liberal immigration laws and considered to be a heaven for international students and foreign immigrants from early 1990s till the US 09/11 tragedy, Canada has now become nothing but a mere money minting machine in the name of international migration, seasonal / agricultural work permits and foreign education. Canadians are now well-known for milking foreign migrants who intend to apply from economically torn-out third world countries in search of a new dream of a financially secured future (continues).
Being a fifth largest economy of the world and currently the largest and leading economy of Europe with its status as second to none in economical competition, Germany, from the year 2017 thru 2019, was known to have been issuing the enormous no of student and Job seeker visas to Pakistani citizens when the ever lovable Ambassador of Germany HE Martin Kobler was there in Islamabad. During HE Martin Kobler’s times, all candidate for the student / Job seeker visa had to do is complete the required documents, primarily the admission and blocked amount as a mere interview was just a formality and bingo. But with the arrival of HE Bernhard Schlagheck as a new German Ambassador to Pakistan from the mid of 2019 followed by the Corona Pandemic in November 2019, things, unfortunately are not the same as they used to be as Germans finally decided to clamp down on issuance ratio of all types of visas for Pakistani citizens. Currently, Germany is almost closed for all types of visas other than study with no online appointment either at Islamabad or Karachi. There are only limited number of appointments for student visa which are being issued through drop box facility both at Islamabad and Karachi provided that documents are absolutely complete. The current visa ratio is max 10-20% as compared 60-70% back before 2019.
Just 7-10 years back, Republic of Ireland (Capital Dublin) was popularly known for issuing student visas to Pakistani candidates with a visa issuance rate of not lower than 70%. But now, due to enormous abuse of such a lenient behavior of Irish government by the nationals of countries as mentioned below, the Irish Immigration has now decided not to issue visas to most of the candidates primarily from Pakistan, Bangladesh and host of other Asian countries no matter how strong the academic and financial profile of the student is. Currently, Ireland is a country with a visa ratio of 3%-7% only and specially for Pakistani students with extremely exceptional cases. Not even appeals following visa refusals are properly and seriously entertained by Irish Immigration now a days.
Both France and Pakistan are currently at loggerheads following the recent outburst of huge public protest in all over Pakistan following the blasphemy case regarding Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the French government compelled to close its all types of visa services in Pakistan and directed its embassy staff to leave Pakistan ASAP. Well it doesn’t make any difference anyway since the earlier visa ratio for Pakistani students was no more than 10%.
Poland could be a great Schengen country when it comes to issuing visas to the South Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri-Lanka and host of other countries in this region but not Pakistan as its favorite. Reason; Unfortunately, both “Double Ps” states (Pakistan and Poland) had an extremely cruel, harsh and severe historical background that goes back to an unforeseen and a very horrifying tragical incident on November 01, 1970 at Karachi International Airport. Ever since then, the relations among the two countries has always been all the times at their lows. For Pakistani passport holders the current student and other Polish visas ratio is 7-10% only.
Not only that; even the worst problem is getting an on-line appointment for any visa category from Polish Embassy in Islamabad which is being awfully mismanaged by the Polish Embassy staff in Islamabad with utmost ignorance and arrogance. Currently the Polish Embassy is less likely to issue any types of visas due to Corona Pandemic scenario in Pakistan.
Although a Schengen state in Europe, Portugal may be considered as one of the most unstable visa regimes when it comes to catering the visas to Non-EU states. Even before the Corona Pandemic scenario Portugal has been the worst of the worse visa regimes of all time whose Embassy used to be closed more than half of a season for international students specially in Pakistan. Like Embassy of Poland, Portugal also has problems issuing on-line appointment for any visa category from its’ Embassy in Islamabad which is being awfully mismanaged by their Embassy staff in Islamabad, Pakistan. Currently the Portuguese Embassy is less likely to issue any types of visas due to Corona Pandemic scenario in Pakistan. Like Poland and most of the European countries, the current visa ratio is 5-10% only
Scandinavian States: (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden)
The visa ratio for the above mentioned Nordic/ Scandinavian states is only 10-12% on Pakistani Passport and are far from more likely to issue any type of visas due to Corona Pandemic in Pakistan.
Spain as a Schengen state, in the opinion of most of the Pakistani students, is one of the most notorious, arrogant and ignorant visa regimes when it comes to the entire documentation requirement and visa issuance ratio. Spain, perhaps, is known to be the only visa regime of its kind who does not hesitate to refuse even the most genuine students holding Pakistani Passport. Its Embassy, based in Islamabad, is known to have a requirement of a federal police character certificate from Islamabad no matter whichever part of Pakistan a person, willing to apply for student visa for Spain, belongs to; whereas others embassies of most of the Schengen states just suffice on local police character certificates. Currently, Spain … just like Ireland … is a country with a visa ratio of 5%-7% only and specially for Pakistani students with extremely exceptional cases. Not even appeals following visa refusals are properly and seriously entertained by Irish Immigration now a days even if immigration authorities are made to realize that the refused students has been taking online classes through distant learning protocol from Pakistan into Spain to prove that they are genuine candidates.
Please note that most of the information obtained above by Euro Education Research and Analysis Division (EERAD) was from different consultants and Students, who applied to one or some of the above mentioned countries, either through Phone call in-person or via emails or feedback forms.
(This webpage was last updated on 10 June 2021).