Implementing Guidelines of Executive Order No. 285

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Entry and Stay of Foreign Students in the Philippines

In accordance with Executive Order No. 285 dated September 04, 2000, amending the Rules and Regulations governing the admission and stay of foreign students in the country and promote the Philippines as a Center for Education in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Committee hereby promulgates the following changes in the implementing guidelines on said students' entry and stay in the country, for the purpose of pursuing higher education studies at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) authorized to admit them. For purposes of these guidelines, foreign students are those who are at least 18 years of age at the time of enrollment at any HEI to take up courses higher than high school and have the means sufficient for their education and support of study. All concerned are informed, enjoined and directed, thus:

1. Only schools with programs accredited by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) or with equivalent accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) shall be authorized to admit foreign students. HEIs with no FAAP accredited programs are given one (1) year grace period upon effectivity of this Order to earn initial accreditation otherwise, transfer of affected foreign students to that which has earned authority to admit foreign students shall be done. Procedures for accrediting HEIs to admit foreign students are attached. (Enclosure 1)

2. At regular intervals an updated list of such schools, in consultation with the CHED shall be prepared by BI. Copies of the list shall be furnished the CHED, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the aforementioned schools.

3. Schools authorized to admit foreign students shall establish a Foreign Student Unit within their organization which shall be tasked to submit reports to the CHED Regional Offices and the BI Student Desk. A consolidation of said reports shall be prepared by CHED-OSS, a copy each to be furnished the BI, DFA, NBI and NICA which shall include the following:

a. An enrollment report on foreign students 45 days after commencement of classes every semester, including the names of those who have been accepted but failed to enroll, either for the first time or subsequent terms; and

b. A yearly status report by semester, with emphasis on foreign students missing, has transferred, failed to take the final examinations, dropped from the rolls or with derogatory records.

Failure to comply with the above required reports shall be a ground for cancellation of the authority to admit foreign students granted by BI.

4. The information drawn from the aforementioned reports submitted by the concerned schools, shall form a vital part of the monitoring system on the activities of foreign students. Activities which appear to be inimical to the security of the State should be brought to the attention of the NICA and NBI. Criminal complaints however, filed against said students shall be referred to the NBI for investigation and appropriate action.

The BI shall investigate, apprehend and prosecute if necessary, foreign students who do not comply with Philippine immigration laws and regulations. Such violations shall be a ground for the cancellation of visa and deportation of students concerned.

5. Issuance of Student Visa under Section 9(f) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended:

a. For foreign students still abroad:

Foreign students with approved applications for student visas have to secure these from the Philippine Foreign Service Post in their country of origin or legal residence, regardless of where they are at the time of application, procedures of which are enclosed. (Enclosure 2)

b. Foreign student already in the Philippines:

Authorization for conversion from tourist's visa category to that of a student visa or issuance of Special Study Permit is hereby restored.

The procedural guidelines and documentary requirements in the issuance of a student visa to a foreign student who is already in the Philippines and for Special Study Permit is attached. (Enclosure 3)

6. The categories of aliens as follows are not covered by the student visa and BI special study permit requirement as provided for in Section 1 F of EO 285:

A. Tertiary enrollment in Philippine schools of the spouses and unmarried dependent children below 21 years old of:

a. a permanent foreign resident;

b. aliens with valid working permit under Section 9(d), 9(g) and 47(a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended;

c. Personnel of foreign diplomatic and consular missions residing in the Philippines;

d. Personnel of duly accredited international organizations residing in the Philippines;

e. Holders of Special Investor's Resident Visa (SIRV) and Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV); and

f. Foreign students in the Philippines with 47(a)(2) visa issued pursuant to existing laws, e.g. P.D. 2021.

This privilege is also extended to the principals who may wish to take advantage of the educational facilities in the country.

B. Children of the above-mentioned admission category holders who are already enrolled before their marriage or before reaching the age of 21 years, or both, shall be allowed to convert their admission category to that of student visa under Section 9(f) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, to enable them to finish their studies.

C. Spouses and children of personnel of foreign diplomatic and consular missions and duly accredited international organizations located in the Philippines, who desire to remain in the country to enrol for the first time or finish their studies higher than high school and qualify under prescribed regulations, shall be allowed to convert their admission category to that of a student visa under 9(f) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, in accordance with the category as Foreign Government Official under Section 9(e) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended. The privilege is also extended to the principals who may wish to take advantage of the educational facilities of the country.

7. Attached herewith are the Revised Immigration and Alien Registration Fees, Fees and other Charges. (Enclosure 4)

8. All issuance, regulations or any part thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Memorandum Order are hereby modified or repealed accordingly.

9. SANCTIONS - After due investigation conducted by BI or CHED, or both, authority to accept foreign students by schools found to have violated or have not complied with the provisions of this Memorandum, shall be subject to cancellation or revocation or a fine of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS or both. Any foreign student found to have enrolled without appropriate visa to study or Special Study Permit (SSP) shall be charged a fine of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS and subsequent deportation.

10. This Inter-Agency Committee Memorandum shall take effect immediately.

Manila, Philippines, October 25, 2000

Commission on Higher Education

Undersecretary for Administration
Department of Foreign Affairs

Bureau of Immigration

National Bureau of Investigation

Director General
National Intelligence Coordinating Agency