Power and Politics

Government moves to evacuate 13 Zambian students illegally resident in India


The Zambia High Commission in India has submitted 13 names of Zambian students to the Ministry of External Affairs of India to be allowed to return home after overstaying in that country.

This follows the government of India’s decision to give a six-month amnesty to African students who have overstayed to return to their respective countries on condition that they do not have any criminal record and are able to purchase their own air tickets.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by Bennie Mundando, the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian High Commission in India, the amnesty runs from May 1 to October 31, 2023.

Authorities in India have dedicated themselves to clear students within a period of 10 working days to expedite Exit Permits to enable them leave the country without paying any penalties accrued with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Speaking on Monday when she held a meeting with Zambian Students Association President, Glory Jere, Zambia’s acting High Commissioner to India Deliwe Mumbi thanked the government of India for extending such a gesture to Zambian students and appealed to those who may have overstayed to use the opportunity and return home.

Mumbi appealed to parents and guardians who have children or dependants who have overstayed in India to contact the Mission so that they are included on the list and allowed to leave the country before the end of the waiver.

“The first condition is that they must not have any criminal record here in India or have a pending case before the courts of law. The other requirement is that the affected students must purchase their own air tickets,” she said.

Mumbi said the Zambian Mission in India knows that quite a number of them have overstayed and might have accrued a lot of penalties with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office but with this amnesty, all these will be waived provided they meet the conditions.

“We are appealing to the guardians and parents to get in touch with the Mission as quickly as possible because this amnesty is from May 1 to October 31, 2023. We do not have much time but we have been assured that once all the requisites are met, the process should take a month or two so that we can have all our students who have overstayed, going back home,” she said.

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Zambian Students Association in India President, Glory Jere, said the gesture from the Indian Government is commendable.

Jere observed that some of the students have overstayed in India because of financial challenges and that even with the waiver in place, not all of them will manage to purchase air tickets to enable them travel to Zambia.

“I am requesting the government of Zambia to help procure air tickets for students who may not manage. This is a huge opportunity for them to leave the country but there are those who genuinely do not have money and once this opportunity closes, it will be difficult for them to leave,” Jere said.

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