Foreign students’ visa to be issued in 14 days

Idris chaired the recent National Entrepreneurship Council of Higher Education Meeting in Putrajaya. On his left is Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap.

THE issuing of visas to foreign students within the new 14 days target will no longer be a problem with the increase of immigration officers in the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS).

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry requested an additional 10 officers from the Immigration Department to join the six officers who are currently at EMGS, but was granted 20 officers instead.

“This increase in manpower will help to hasten the foreign student visa process, meaning they will be able to receive their documents within the given time frame of 14 days,” he said after chairing the National Entrepreneurship Council of Higher Education Meeting last Tuesday.

He added that the 26 officers will help clear the backlog of 4,000 applications by EMGS and the Immigration Department, which together streamline the foreign student visa process.

“We aim to clear these backlog within two weeks,” said Idris.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said recently that foreign students in the country can look forward to receiving their visas within 14 days in the near future, instead of having to wait one month as they do now.

He said he set this new target for the EMGS and Immigration Department.

There are also those who had to wait three to six months before finally having their visas issued to them, he added.

The EMGS is a one-stop centre for foreign student enrolment that was set up by the Higher Education Ministry.

On a separate issue, Idris said the ministry is planning to revise policies within higher learning institutions in a bid to make Malaysia an “entrepreneurial nation”.

“The change is aligned with the Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education) which emphasises on producing graduates who are entrepreneurial, holistic and balanced,” he said.

He added that the ministry encouraged students to take the initiative of starting their own businesses as it is “income generating”.

“We want to create entrepreneurial students who become job creators instead of being job seekers,” he said.

This will mean students no longer need to rely on their parents or on scholarships such as the National Higher Education Fund Corporation to sustain their lives, he added.

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