Philippines: Visa or Study Permit is must for students

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) today reminded foreigners intending to study in the Philippines to secure a visa or study permit from the bureau before enrolling in any school in the country. Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the statement as the start of new school year is on June 6 and when foreign students are expected to troop by the hundreds to the BI main office to get their student visas.

David also reminded schools that they cannot admit foreigners for enrollment unless the students have the required visas or study permits from the BI student desk. BI added that 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. Existing immigration laws require foreigners who want to enroll in the Philippine college or university to get a student visa.

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; and clearances from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Clearance and BI.