|61,000 foreign students studying in RP|
FEBRUARY 09, 2012
There are now more than 61,000 foreigners studying in the various schools and learning institutions in the country, according to statistics from the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Citing a report from the BI student desk, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. disclosed that a total of 61,601 applications for student visa and special study permit (SSP) were processed and approved by the bureau in 2011.
“We should be proud that our country is fast emerging as a new educational hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Foreigners come to our shores to study and that is a tribute to the good quality of our educational system,” David said.
He also attributed the influx of foreign students to the use of English as a medium of instruction in the country’s schools.
Atty. Jose Carlitos Licas, BI student desk head, said that 41,497 SSP holders, mostly based in the provinces, account for the bulk of the foreign students while 19,654 were issued student visa.
Licas explained that an SSP is issued to a foreign student below 18 years old who will study in the elementary, secondary, tertiary levels and those who will enroll in a special course of less than one year.
On the other hand, a student visa is issued to foreigner aged 18 years and above, who will be taking up a course higher than high school at a university, seminary, college, or school duly authorized by the BI to admit foreign student, Licas added.
Statistics also revealed that of the 19,654 holders of student visa, 4,284 are former tourists who later opted to study here while 15,370 were old students who renewed their visa.
It was also gathered that a total of 29,462 foreigners applied for SSP with the different BI field offices in the provinces, while 8,846 obtained their SSP from the main office in Manila.
Earlier, the BI implemented new and stricter rules in screening student visa and SSP applications due to the alleged presence of fake foreign students in the country.
The new rules require schools to designate their liaison officer who shall exclusively represent or assist their foreign enrollees in applying for a visa or SSP with the BI.