At a time when the UK is mulling visa cash bond for Indians, France put in place a host of India-specific measures that included easing visa norms for Indian students pursuing higher studies.
The move is likely to boost the number of Indian students in France.
Asserting that France was not challenging anybody, French ambassador to India Francois Richier said, “There is no competition between the UK and us. It is about opening our arms and hearts for Indian students by facilitating their stay.”
Richier said following the visit of French President Francois Hollande in February this year, a number of measures had been taken to facilitate the issuance of visas for Indian students, the creation of a “France-India” network and an increased number of scholarships offered by the French embassy and its corporate partners.
As of July 14, Richier said, all Indian citizens who have graduated from a French higher education institution applying for a tourist or business visa, will be given a long-period visa — the validity going up to five years if the studies in France were at the Master or PhD level.
Last year, almost 2,600 Indian students opted for higher education in France, a jump of 50% over the past five years.