According to German Ambassador Philipp Ackerman, approximately 15% of Indian student visa applications include forged documentation. Taking such activities into account, the German Embassy in India announced at the beginning of November 1, 2022, that Indian students applying for a German student visa must include a certificate from the APS - Academic Evaluation Centre.
The APS - Academic Evaluation Centre, a division of the German Embassy's Science section, was established to speed up visa and student enrollment processes. To receive an APS certification, all students intending to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Germany must have their academic documents verified by APS India. There is no expiration date on the certificate.
However, the abrupt shift in the visa application process has left students perplexed due to a lack of knowledge about the new process, the offline exercise of submitting documents, and the additional cost to receive the certificate.
Students have experienced delays as a result of the recently announced German student visa restrictions. According to one of the students, the entire procedure of submitting documents for verification was done offline, and students were instructed to visit either the embassy in Delhi or one of its four consulates, depending on their geographical location. The student was one of the first in India to get the APS certificate.
However, students who have obtained scholarships from the German or EU do not need to apply for an APS certificate. The certificate is also not required for students wishing to study in Germany for 90 days or less. If the candidate's qualifying criteria change, he or she may be needed to apply for an updated APS certificate under a new category.
Previously, students could complete the application form and pay their fees online. Following that, they were given an appointment date to submit the documents to the German consulate in Delhi. This procedure, however, has changed. Instead of visiting the embassy, aspirants must now provide a photocopy of their documents by courier.
The APS process adds a month to the student visa application process. However, this is not the only source of concern among students, as others are afraid to pay INR 18,000 fee for an APS certificate.
Students are now claiming that the charge imposed on them is unreasonable because it should be the obligation of the embassy, not the students, to have documents validated. Some argue that it is unfair for students who have authentic academic diplomas to have them certified for such a high fee.
They should not bear the cost of 15% of students faking paperwork. They also propose that, instead of a hybrid procedure, students be permitted to input papers for verification online.
According to study abroad specialists, the process will be more simplified if only real cases come to the embassy. German student visas will be accepted faster, and more applications will be handled. Although their goal is to capture the 15% of fraudulent applicants, the remainder of the applicants will profit from the shorter time at visa allotment.
Source: Indian Express News
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