Students can apply for e-visa

Mohd Fardhi (second left) and Prof Rujhan (far left) touring the one-stop facility.

STUDENTS of all nationalities will soon be able to apply for an e-visa to study here.

The Immigration Department’s e-visa application for international students, which was introduced to students from 10 countries in August last year, will be expanded, said the department’s visa, pass and permit division director Mohd Fardhi Ahmad.

“After receiving the Visa Approval Letter (VAL), students from anywhere in the world can apply for the e-visa by the second quarter of this year.

“Applications will be processed within 48 hours, making it faster and easier for students to come,” he told a press conference last Thursday.

Initially, only students from China, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Serbia, and Montenegro, were allowed to apply online for the electronic single entry visa to enter Malaysia.

Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) CEO Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa said the service delivery for VAL is seven working days.

EMGS, a wholly-owned company of the Higher Education Ministry, operates a one-stop-centre for international student services together with the Immigration Department.

With eVAL, students could access the document via EMGS’ digital student application and registration system (STARS) the moment it’s issued by the department.

“Students and institutions can track the status of applications online or via the EMGS mobile app, which is also a tool to connect the community of international students in Malaysia,” he said.

To ensure that only genuine students enter the country, the police and immigration department are given access to the system.

“We also have access to the database of examination boards of certain foreign countries which allow us to check and verify examination certificates submitted by students who come.

“The Multinational Academic Recognition System (MARS) was recently set up as a central database for all academic certificates and transcripts.

“This is an important reference especially when students apply for progression to the next level of study,” he said, adding that the country was rising in the value chain in terms of level of study.

He said 64% of international students in public universities were enrolled in postgraduate studies, and at private institu­tions, 56% are at degree and postgraduate levels.

He said EMGS met its 170,000 international student target last year, and was confident of getting 200,000 students here this year.

“The ministry has given us until the year 2020 to do that but with the right strategy, we can achieve the target this year.

“We’re seeing a gradual increase but we must push for a quantum leap,” he said.

Malaysia, he said, would target Indonesia and China this year.

“We’re looking to the Shaanxi and Ningxia provinces in China.

“The plan is also to attract more students from Europe.”

He said Bangladesh and Nigeria were ‘bonus’ countries.

Their students have been coming to Malaysia despite the lack of promotion there.

It’s unfair that students from these countries suffer from a negative perception just because of a few bad hats, he said.

“We want to welcome them too.

“Our screenings are very stringent. Many of them have done well here.”

Next month, agents from Japan will be coming as the Japanese are keen on learning English.

“We’re also recently secured 500 scholarships from Maldives.”

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