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Previously this month, popular destinations for international studies, with formerly strict entry bans for students, announced their plans to slowly start allowing students to come back to continue their studies.
Japan had initially planned to allow 5 000 individuals a day to enter the country, but in March this number was raised to 7 000 a day (expected to rise to 10 000 starting April), prioritising students when possible. New Zealand announced that study visas will start to be processed again in October 2022, with a limited number of students (currently 5 000) allowed to come back to the country as of this April (meaning that students above this limit will not be able to start or resume their studies before the beginning of 2023). Malaysia as well decided to lift restrictions and allow all students back starting from April 2022.
China, on the other hand, was the only country earlier this month, standing in its restrictions and not accepting international students to return to complete their studies, nor having any plans to do so in the future. On March 14 though, an announcement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that a small number of students – followed gradually by more – will be allowed in the country, based on the requirements of their majors. Although this confirmation is a positive sign, China’s plan remains abstract. The number of COVID-19 cases has been on the rise in early 2022, especially in major cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong and it is currently unclear how this spike in domestic cases will affect students’ return to China.