No backlog of applications, says EMGS

PETALING JAYA: Applications for new and existing international students are being processed.

The Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) has assured international students keen on coming to Malaysia that there will not be a delay in processing their student passes.

Its chief executive officer Mohd Radzlan Jalaludin said applications from new and existing international students are being processed

to be handed over to the Immigration Department for its endorsement.

EMGS, which operates a one-stop centre for international student services pursuing higher education at the country’s public and private higher education institutes, language and training centres, is under the purview of the Higher Education Ministry.

“International students can still apply to come here.

“We will make sure that there is no backlog in processing the applications for student passes,” he said.

Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said newly registered foreign students have been allowed to enter Malaysia since Sept 11.

“All students are required to apply to EMGS for travel authorisation. However, new students need to apply for a Visa Approval Letter (eVAL).

“Before travel, all students are required to obtain the entry permit from the nearest Malaysian Mission after which they can travel from Malaysia. In the case of some countries, they will need to apply for a single entry visa as well.”

He added that it is estimated that about 13,000 students from the private higher education institutions (IPTS) had left Malaysia for their home countries.

“It now appears that an estimated number of just over 1,000 of these students have so far returned to Malaysia.

“There are now 23 restricted countries from which newly registered students are not allowed entry into Malaysia. It is somewhat unfortunate that a substantial number of newly registered students are from within these restricted countries,” said Parmjit.

National Association of Private Educational Institutions president Assoc Prof Elajsolan Mohan said new students have to apply to enter Malaysia through EMGS, while existing students who left Malaysia when the movement control order was announced are allowed to re-enter the country provided they obtain approval from the Immigration Department’s director-general.

“Students must be quarantined before they are allowed to continue or start their studies,” he said.

An existing international student who is stuck in his home country Egypt, said he, together with 21 others, have been unable to return to Malaysia to continue their studies.

The student who is pursuing a medical degree at a private institution in Sarawak said he and the other students have been trying to return since the country reinstated face-to-face classes.

“Every article I read claims that existing international students can return, which is obviously false in our case. We have been waiting for a letter from the Immigration Department that would allow us to return but we haven’t heard back yet,” he said, in a tweet to The Star on Sept 3.

Urging international students to be patient, Mohd Radzlan said applications processed by EMGS may only be endorsed (by the Immigration Department) in batches so that their entry is staggered.

A Higher Education Ministry official who declined to be named said the ministry has 168 IPTS with Home Ministry license for international students.

“Most of the large IPTS have kept their international students on campus during the movement control order,” she said.

In July, EMGS announced that entry for new students and their dependents was on hold until further notice. Existing students could, however, return.

While welcoming the announcement, education activist Mak Chee Kin said safety and the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 must be ensured.

Mak, who is the chairman of the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie), said the government must make sure that parents who come back after accompanying their children abroad, undergo proper health screening and quarantine.

“The parents themselves must also make sure that they are not sending their children to countries that are having trouble containing the virus.”

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