Immigration Bureau says foreigners need visa to study in PH
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration has reminded foreigners intending to study in the Philippines to secure a visa or a study permit from the bureau before enrolling in any school in the country.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the statement as some schools were set to open classes as early as June 6. The bureau is expecting foreign students to troop by the hundreds to the BI main office to get their student visas.
David also reminded schools not to admit foreigners for enrollment unless the students have secured the required visas or study permits from the BI student desk.
“Also, a school must be accredited or authorized by the BI before it could accept foreign students, or the school will be fined for violating the bureau’s regulations,” the BI chief added.
Existing immigration laws require foreigners who want to enroll in the Philippine colleges or universities to get student visas.
Lawyer Grace Lara, chief of the student desk, said those who would like to enroll in the elementary and high school or those intending to take special courses, such as language tutorials, must apply for a special study permit (SSP).
The BI student desks processes and evaluates applications for student visas and SSPs and thereafter forward the same to the office of the commissioner for his approval.
A student visa applicant should at least be 18 years old and must submit a notice of acceptance from his or her school, which, also, must issue a written endorsement for conversion of the applicant’s status signed by the school registrar.
The applicant is also required to submit a medical certificate from a government medical institution stating that the applicant is not afflicted with any dangerous, contagious or loathsome disease and is mentally fit. He must submit clearances from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and BI.
The SSP applicant must also submit a certificate of acceptance issued by the learning institution accompanied by clearances from the NICA and BI.
In both cases, applicants should present their passports showing that their stay in the country is updated.
David advised student permit applicants to directly inquire about fees with the BI cashiers, and pay the fees for an SSP application there to avoid extortionists and fixers.
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