KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign students can expect speedy approval for their visa application under a “green lane” policy set to be implemented in October.
However, this express clearance is only applicable to those intending to pursue studies in branch campuses of foreign universities as well as private colleges and universities which have achieved Tier Five and above in the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (Setara).
According to Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) chief executive officer Mohd Yazid Abd Hamid, some of the institutions mentioned above have self-accreditated status, hence the agency would be able to expedite the vetting of the accreditation of courses from these institutions.
EMGS is a one-stop centre for foreign student enrolment set up by the then Higher Education Ministry last year.
Since February this year, EMGS has been providing a single interface for foreign student pass application, processing and issuance.
“Normally, EMGS takes about four days to vet the academic qualifications of the students as well as the accreditation of the courses before sending the applications to the Immigration Department, which then conducts security screening on the students,” Mohd Yazid said at a press conference.
He stressed that the green lane policy would not discriminate the applicants based on the institutions they were applying to.
“All applicants will undergo the same screening process in order to qualify for student visas and they will still get their visas within 14 working days,” he said.
Introduced in 2007, Setara assesses the teaching and learning aspects of participating institutions by ranking the institutions from Tier Six (outstanding) to Tier One (weak).
Mohd Yazid said students studying at Setara Tier Five institutions and foreign branch campuses would be granted visas for the duration of their courses instead of being subjected to annual renewal.
EMGS has been besieged by teething problems, with many IPTS operators complaining that a large number of foreign students have not been able to start their courses here due to the delay in the issuance of student visas.
Mohd Yazid explained that the delays were caused by incomplete documentation and failure of the institution operators to make the required payments.