Having the fastest growing regional economy, the Asian market is sought-after by many for work, investment, tourism, and studies. Among Asian countries, the Philippines is one of the top choices thanks to its improving economy and the English fluency of its citizens. This is why many foreign students looking to study abroad and learn the English language choose to study in the Philippines.

Like most countries, the Philippines requires foreign students to apply and acquire a student visa before they are allowed to study in colleges in Manila. Here is a quick outline of the application process for Philippine student visas:

1. Fit the Criteria and Qualifications

To apply for a student visa you must be a foreign national of legal age, at least eighteen years old. If you are below eighteen years old or are applying for a non-degree course, you can apply for a Special Study Permit (SSP) , which is a kind of temporary visitor’s visa issued to foreign nationals. Apart from being of age, you must have proof of your means and support for your education and living expenses in the Philippines. 

2. Find Your School

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration has a list of accredited schools that are applicable for the receipt of a student visa in the Philippines. You can also do your own research by looking at the top colleges in Manila or checking out international colleges in the Philippines like Enderun Colleges. Once you have applied for your chosen school and received acceptance, the school will then forward your application to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) who will have your forms approved and sent to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID). Once approved, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will inform the Philippine Embassy of the issuance of your student visa. You will then be notified by the embassy whether or not you have been granted the visa and when you can claim it. This entire process takes about one to two months, but delays can happen, so make sure you plan ahead of time.

3. Documents and Requirements

Below is a checklist of the things you will need for your student visa application, as required by the Philippine Embassy:

  • Personal appearance;
  • Two originals of duly accomplished application form;
  • Original passport valid not less than six months beyond your intended period of stay in the Philippines;
  • Two (2) photographs;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of birth certificate, verified and authenticated at the Philippine Embassy;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of affidavit of support executed by parent/s or legal guardian to be authenticated in the Philippine Embassy;
  • Two (2) photocopies of parent/guardian’s passport data page;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of transcript of records authenticated at the Philippine Embassy;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of certificate of good moral character authenticated at the Philippine Embassy;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of police certificate authenticated by the Philippine Embassy;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of medical examination reports, including X-ray film contained in an envelope authenticated at the Philippine Embassy;
  • Duly accomplished Personal History Statement forms from the school concerned;
  • Original and one (1) photocopy of comprehensive list of student’s possible contact persons in the Philippines;
  • Diploma is required for student applicant who will pursue graduate studies (authenticated at the Philippine Embassy); and
  • Payment

Once you have arrived in the Philippines, you must not forget to secure your Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) and a Certificate of Residence for Temporary Students (CRTS), which you can get assistance for, from your school. The next step is for your to enjoy life as a foreign student and immerse yourself in the Philippine culture as much as you can. Enjoy studying in the Philippines!

*For more details on applying for a student visa, check out: https://www.philembassy.no/consular-services/visa/student-visa