BI: 1,516 Chinese nat'ls given student visas in Cagayan in 2023

BI: 1,516 Chinese nat’ls given student visas in Cagayan in 2023

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 01:31 PM April 19, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 1,516 Chinese nationals, all endorsed by a major Philippine university, were issued student visas in Cagayan in 2023, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday.

“However, reports received only show more than 400 Chinese nationals are on-site, as the school is said to be implementing distance learning,” the BI noted in a statement.

The bureau issued this pronouncement following reports that there is an alleged influx of Chinese students in Cagayan, prompting an investigation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


The Medical Colleges of the Northern Philippines, the University of Cagayan Valley, the University of Saint Louis Tuguegarao, and Saint Paul University Philippines have already dismissed the allegations.


READ: Cagayan schools: ‘Baseless’ to say Chinese students threaten PH security

The BI, on the other hand, stressed that foreigners holding student visas may face government intelligence scrutiny if suspected of engaging in activities that threaten the country’s security.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, citing Executive Order No. 285, s. 2000, said in the statement that the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the National Bureau of Investigation would be responsible for conducting such a probe.

He also reiterated that the BI can only issue student visas to foreigners who have been endorsed by legitimate schools and by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Educational institutions that accept foreign nationals as students are also required to submit their regular reports to the BI, which will monitor their visa compliance.

CHEd, on the other hand, will check the schools’ compliance with education-related policies, while NICA will conduct investigations on suspicious activities.


READ: Why influx of Sino students in Cagayan Valley? Solons ask

Tansingco hoped that, despite concerns from the security sector, the investigation would not prevent legitimate foreign students from continuing their studies in the Philippines.

“The national government has actively promoted the country as an education hub in Asia,” Tansingco said.

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“We hope that these concerns do not scare away legitimate students whose stay in the country could greatly help re-boost our economy,” he added.

TAGS: BI, Chinese, student visa

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