CYBERJAYA: Visas for foreign students wishing to study in Malaysia are now valid for the entire duration of their course, instead of needing to be renewed annually.
In announcing this move that came into effect on March 15, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said foreign students had to send their applications directly to Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) via educationmalaysia.gov.my.
Under the new system, the iKad (student identification card) will also be valid for the full duration of a student’s course.
“However, students will have to apply for a new visa if they decide to change courses,” he said at a press conference after visiting the Education Malaysia Student Services Centre here on Wednesday evening.
Universities are still required to submit each student’s annual report even with the online visa system in place.
“The institutions must inform EMGS if the student has quit studying or has skipped classes,” said Idris, adding that the system was connected to the Immigration Department’s system in “real time”.
“So it shouldn’t be a problem for the authorities to identify students who no longer qualify for the visa.”
EMGS chief executive officer Mohd Yazid Abd Hamid said the second student services centre here would also host the Immigration Department’s Student Pass Unit.
“We feel this is necessary to improve the management of international student passes,” he said.
Idris said having the unit under the same roof would speed up the processing of student visa applications.
He added that Malaysia aimed to have 200,000 foreign students by 2020, up from 151,979 recorded last year.
Of the number, 80.3% or 122,061 are enrolled in institutions of higher education.
“This is a 12% increase (from 2014),” said Idris.
Source : The Star