Getting a Student Visa in The Philippines
A Student Visa should be obtained from the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your country, to ensure you arrive in the Philippines with the correct Visa. This normally takes about two months to process. (See below for Conversion of Visitor Visa to Student Visa)
The applicant for a Student Visa must be 18 years old or above and be taking a course of study above high school level.
Those under 18 and wishing to take other study courses will be issued with a Special Study Permit (SSP) which is issued in addition to the Temporary Visitor’s Visa that must also be held for the duration of stay.
Only selected schools accredited by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) may accept and enroll foreign students. Only then may the foreign student apply for a Student Visa.
A Student Visa applicant has to have sufficient means of support for education in the Philippines.
Extending a Philippines Student Visa
Student visa conversion applies to international students who initially come to the Philippines with a tourist visa and are at least 18 years old.
Once approved, the student visa will be for a duration of one year.
After one year, the student visa would need extension/ renewal every six months. The Registrar’s Office (RO) and the Admissions Office at the University or Education Facility will normally assist all international students in this process.
The cost to extend a Student Visa in the Philippines is shown as 4,020 PHP. (as checked 24 July 2018)
This may be increased by US$50 (2,700 php at 24 July 2018 FX rates) if an ACR-I card is not currently held. One ACR-I card application or renewal is needed every 12 months.
This was quoted at: immigration.gov.ph/…/extension-of-student-visa
Changing from Visitor Visa to a Philippines Student Visa
Foreign nationals who are at least 18 years old and intending to take up a course of study higher than high school at a University, seminary or college, can apply for a Student Visa at a Philippines Bureau of Immigration Office.
The process and cost is shown at: immigration.gov.ph/…/conversion-to-student-visa
The cost shown at that page on the 24th July 2018 was:
Application Fee: PHP 2,000
Implementation Fee: PHP 1,000
Service Fee: PHP 1,000
Certificate Fee: PHP 500
Visa Fee: PHP 1,000
ICR, CRTV, CRTS, CRTT, CRPE: PHP 1,400
Legal Research Fee (LRF) for each immigration fee except Head Tax and Fines: PHP 70
Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR): PHP 1,000
Head Tax: PHP 250
Express Fee (Certification): PHP 500
Express Fee (Filing): PHP 500
Express Fee (I-Card Processing): PHP 500
TOTAL: PHP PHP 9,720 PLUS:
Additional I-Card Fee US$ 50 converted to PHP at current exchange rate
Approximately 12,000 PHP
However, I have seen converted costs in 2018 at the equivalent of almost 15,000 PHP
Process to obtain a Philippine Student Visa
The process to obtain a Philippine Student Visa, from your home country, is basically:
- The prospective student must contact the school chosen, ensuring it is approved for Visa issuance, and comply with their requirements.
- The school, after their approval, will forward that application to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for their approval.
- The CHED, will, if approved, send the application to the Bureau of Immigration.
- The Bureau of Immigration, after their approval, will then forward the approval to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
- The DFA will inform your local Philippine Embassy to issue the student visa, and the local Philippine Embassy will notify you accordingly.
Requirements for applying for a Philippine Student Visa
I have seen the requirements for applying for a Student Visa listed as:
- Personal appearance;
- Two originals of duly accomplished application form;
- Original passport valid not less than six months beyond 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 of the reuired fees.
I do recommend asking at your local Philippine Embassy for the confirmed, up to date, procedure, as things can be changed at any time in the Philippines.