A bonafide foreign student is one who is at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of enrolment, has sufficient means for his/her education and support, and who seeks to enter the Philippines for temporary stay with the purpose of taking up a course of study higher than high school at a university, college or school authorized to accept foreign students. Only higher education institutions with programs accredited by agencies under the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) or with equivalent accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), either as Centres of Excellence, Centres of Development or STCW (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping)-compliant maritime schools and by the Bureau of Immigration, are authorized to admit foreign students.
The entry and stay of foreign students in the country is covered by Executive Order (EO) 285 of 4 September 2000, which amended the provisions of EO 423 of 1997 Re: Guidelines Governing the Entry and Stay of Foreign Students in the Philippines and the Establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee on Foreign Students for the Purpose.
An individual who wishes to study in the Philippines has two options in applying for a 9(f) student visa:
- Apply for a 9(a) tourist visa at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague for an initial stay of fifty-nine (59) days. As authorized by EO 285, a tourist visa can be converted to a 9(f) student visa in the Philippines or a prospective student can be granted a Special Study Permit (SSP) by the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines.
- The Embassy will only issue tourist visas to students if the student-applicant submits a letter from the school in the Philippines clearly stating that the school is expecting the student and that the school will assist the student in converting his/her tourist visa into a student visa.
- Prior to departure from the Netherlands, the student must coordinate directly with his/her school for the documentary requirements for student visa, if applied for in the Philippines. This is necessary because authentication or legalization of Dutch documents is done by the Philippine Embassy in The Hague.
- Apply for 9(f) student visa at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague.
- Firstly, the student shall communicate directly with the school and comply with the school’s institutional requirements, which shall include the submission of the following documents:1. Five (5) copies of the Student’s Personal History Statement (PHS)duly signed by him/her, both in English and in national alphabet accompanied by his/her personal seal, if any, and containing, among others, his left and right thumbprints and a 2” x 2” photograph on plain white background taken not more than six months prior tosubmission.2. A notarized affidavit of support including bank statements or notarized notice of grant for institutional scholars to cover expenses for the students accommodation and subsistence, as well as school dues and other incidental expenses.
Note: If student will get support from parents, the Affidavit of Support must be acknowledged at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague. Personal appearance of parents and photocopies of their passports will be required.
3. Transcript of Records/Scholastic records duly authenticated by the Philippine Foreign Service Post located in the student applicant’s country of origin or legal residence.
Note: The transcript of records must be legalized by the Dutch Ministry of Education (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken), and then by the Philippine Embassy in The Hague.
4. Student’s passport (original and photocopy of information page showing date and place of birth).
5. Birth certificate or its equivalent duly authenticated by the Philippine Foreign Service Post.
Note: The international birth certificate must be obtained from the Gemeente. The Birth Certificate should first be legalized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken), and then by the Philippine Embassy in The Hague).
- If the student is accepted by the school, the school shall inform the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila. The DFA will then give the Embassy the authority to issue the 9(f) student visa.
The Philippine Embassy shall notify, in writing, the student of the receipt of the authorization and require him/her to appear in person before a Consular Officer for interview and compliance with consular requirements. In addition to the (aforementioned) documents transmitted to the post of the DFA, the following requirements shall also be submitted by the student to the Embassy:
1. Original copy of the school’s Notice of Admission (NOA) containing a clear impression of the school’s dry seal (submit photocopy)
2. Original copy of the CEA (Certificate of Admission of Eligibility) issued by the CHED if enrolled in courses or programs where restriction may exist due to shortage of facilities as in Medicine or Dentistry (submit photocopy)
3. Police clearance issued by the national police authorities in the student’s country of origin or legal residence, authenticated by the Philippine Foreign Service Post having consular jurisdiction over the place (original and submit photocopy)
4. Medical Health Certificate issued by an authorized physician including but not limited to standard-size chest x-ray, Hepatitis-B clearance (original and submit photocopy)