ISLAMABAD-Scores of Pakistani students admitted in German universities are compelled to wait for months to get visa appointments from embassy of the host country, The Nation learnt on Tuesday.

German universities are though admitting students following the criteria and issuing admission letters to students after verifying credentials of the candidates, but the embassy at Islamabad is delaying issuance of the visas.

The embassy of Germany is dealing with applicants of federal, Punjab province, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K).

A large number of aspirant students raised the matter on social media as the embassy was issuing the visa appointment dates after the date of arrival in the relevant university at Germany.

Students while talking to The Nation said that late visa appointment dates might lead to the cancelation of their admission in the university. The students who applied for admission in the winter semester are getting visa appointments near to the dates when their classes are to begin in universities there.

Around one dozen admission letters by the German universities, available with The Nation, were issued for admission in spring semester in the months of March, April, May and June of the current year.

However, students said that the visa appointment dates were being given after 6 to 10 months.

A student, Shahoor Khan, admitted for Master of Science, Natural Hazards and Risks in Structural Engineering in Bauhaus University, said that he got admission letter on May 17 this year but has not received the visa appointment date.

He said that earlier this gap was around 3 months, but now it has stretched to six months.

“It’s kind of mental pressure that you have the admission letter but you don’t have visa appointment,” he said.

Another aspirant student Ali Usman in his social media message said, “We have admission letters in hands by universities but don’t have a near visa appointment date”.

He also said that students having scholarships are waiting for visa appointment.

According to Ali, the German embassy at Islamabad is dealing a larger region and issuing visa dates to only 44 students a month.

Students also raised concerns that students without admission letters from German universities are also allowed to book the visa appointment date on online portal which creates problems for those who have admission letters.

They said that a student admitted in masters program has to wait for 6 to 7 months for visa appointment from embassy while, a bachelor student has to wait for around eight months.

Students said that if it could be reduced to 3-4 months, most of the candidates would be able to get appointment just in time.

The press section of the embassy of the Germany in Pakistan in its written response to the queries sent by The Nation said that German Embassy was trying its best to offer as many students visa appointments as possible. In 2018, the number of study visas issued by the German Embassy Islamabad was 1,141.

It said that there was an immense surge in the number of applicants during the last two years. We have a set number of daily appointments available for online booking based on workload and resources.

Due to a high number of applicants who do not appear for their appointments, the no-show rate is roughly 60%. This contributes to longer wait times for visa applicants, said the statement.

The statement also added that although longer wait times can be difficult for students applying for visas, we are unfortunately unable to allot appointments to every applicant within only a few weeks.

“We are working very hard to shorten wait times for all visa applicants”, it said.