Saturday, 19 March 2011

26,823 Korean students top SSPs list

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Students from South Korea topped the list of foreigners who took up elementary and high school education and short-term courses in the Philippines last year, statistics from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) showed Friday.

Statistics from the BI student desk section disclosed that a total of 26,823 Koreans students have valid special study permits (SSPs) issued by the bureau.

Existing BI rules require foreigners who wish to take up elementary, high school and special courses in a Philippine school to apply for an SSP.

“The SSP is different from the student visa or so-called 9(f) visa, which is issued to a foreigner taking up tertiary education in a Philippine college or university,” Teodulo Estrada, chief of the student desk, explained.

Estrada said he expects the number of SSP applicants to shoot up further in June when the next school year opens.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of SSP applicants since we launched a crackdown against foreigners illegally studying in the country a few months ago,” he noted.

BI- Alien Registration Division (ARD) chief Danilo Almeda said that the same statistics showed that Japanese SSP holders are second in the list with 1,041, followed by 336 Indians and 262 Chinese nationals.

There are also a few hundred SSP holders from Taiwan, Indonesia, United States, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Iran.

“As a result of the upsurge in SSP applicants, the government earned more than P54 million from fees paid by the foreign students, compared to the P42 million it generated a year ago.” Almeda added.

Data from ARD also showed that Koreans also topped the list with over 6,000 9(F) visa holders or foreigners enrolled in various colleges and universities nationwide. Also included in the list are 3,395 Chinese nationals, 2,980 Iranians, and 1,004 Americans.

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