29 May 2014


Korean nationals remain top in the list of foreign students studying in different schools and universities in the country this school year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) disclosed yesterday. 

Lawyer Elaine Tan, BI spokesperson, announced that about 1,530 Koreans students has already acquired student visa to study in the Philippines as of this month of May.

Included in the top five foreign student enrollees are Indian nationals with 1,069 enrollees, this was followed by Iranians 1,032 and Chinese 1,000, according to Tan.

Also in the list are Nepalese (561) and Nigerian (527), BI data showed.

Mentioning the improving educational system in the country, Tan said they are expecting that the number of alien students to increase this year after 5,719 visas/permits were already issued to aliens.

Tan said the increase is also due to the proficiency of Filipino teachers in English and the use of English as a medium of instruction in the country’s schools.

However, she said, the BI has tightened the screening student visa and Special Study Permit (SSP) applications amid reports of fake foreign students in the country.

Thelma Guiritan, BI Student Desk Chief, said that for the last three years, Korean nationals remain the highest foreigners taking up college in the country with 3,309 in 2012 and with 2,655 enrollees in 2013. 

Most foreign students are studying in Metro Manila, mostly at Centro Escolar University, Adventist University of the Philippines, University of the East, Far Eastern University, Manila Central University, University of Santo Tomas, Jose Rizal University and De La Salle University.

Schools with a significant number of foreign students enrolled in Visayan and Mindanao regions include Southwestern University, University of Visayas and Davao Medical Foundation. 

Guiritan reminded foreigners who want to study in the Philippines must secure a student visa, following Philippine immigration laws, to enable them to temporarily stay in the country and take up a course higher than high school in an educational institution.

She said aliens aged 18 years and above who arrived as tourists and are intending to study in a degree course here must apply for conversion of their status and secure the appropriate student visa from the Bureau.

On the other hand, she said, those who are below 18 years old who will study in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels or those about to take up special courses of less than a year must secure a SSP from the Bureau.

Only schools accredited by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Federation of Accrediting Agencies are authorized to accept foreign students.

Meanwhile, the Bureau recently discussed with CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan the possible tie-up on sharing on data and other records pertaining to foreign students.





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