A bonafide foreign student is one who is at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of enrolment, has sufficient means to support his/her education and who seeks to enter and stay in the Philippines temporarily for the purpose of taking up a course of study higher than high school at a university, college, or school authorized to accept foreign students. Only higher education institutions with programs accredited by agencies under the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) or with equivalent accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) - either as Centers of Excellence, Centers of Development or STCW (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) – as well as compliant maritime schools and those accredited by the Bureau of Immigration, are authorized to admit foreign students.
The entry and stay of foreign students in the country is covered by Executive Order (E.O.) No. 285 of 04 September 2000, which amended the provisions of E.O. 423 of 1997 regarding Guidelines Governing the Entry and Stay of Foreign Students in the Philippines and the Establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee on Foreign Students for the Purpose.
The Embassy advises the prospective Belgian/Luxembourgish student applicant to:
1. Apply for a 9(A) Tourist Visa at the Embassy for an initial stay of fifty-nine (59) days. As authorized by E.O. 285, a tourist visa can be converted into a 9(F) student visa in the Philippines or the prospective student can be granted a Special Study Permit (SSP) by the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines. For more information on Student Visa application at the Bureau of Immigration, please click HERE.
2. The Embassy will only issue tourist visas to students if the student applicant submits a letter from the school/university in the Philippines clearly stating that the school is expecting the student and that the school/university will assist the student in converting his/her tourist visa into a student visa.
3. Prior to departure from Belgium/Luxembourg, the student must coordinate directly with his/her school on the documentary requirements for visa application, which will be lodged at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration. This is necessary to make sure that all pertinent, foreign-issued documents are duly authenticated/apostillized by the Belgian/Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs.