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The Bureau of Immigration is prepared for the possible return of international students.

MANILA, Philippines — On Thursday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) stated that it is prepared for a possible inflow of international students returning to the country.

Foreign nationals will be able to change to student visas without difficulty, according to Commissioner Jaime Morente.

In a statement, he stated, “I have asked our workers to coordinate with our other stakeholders to facilitate the seamless processing of returning international students.”

“This would be the Bureau’s contribution to aiding the education sector’s rehabilitation, which was also severely impacted by the pandemic,” the BI director noted.

Following the government’s statewide closures and lockdowns following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic, the majority of international students were deported to their home countries.

Meanwhile, Anthony Cabrera, the chief of the BI’s student visa unit, stated that foreign students should return by the third quarter of the year, which coincides with the start of the school year.

He went on to say that some schools have indicated that face-to-face classes will be reduced.

“We’re encouraging these international students to return and finish their degrees,” Cabrera said, adding that the pandemic has hampered their studies.

He claimed he met with a number of school administrators and organizations who expressed a wish to begin enrolling international students.

The Department of Tourism previously stated that it is marketing the Philippines as a learning destination, particularly for individuals interested in studying English.

The BI estimated that there were more than 35,000 international students pursuing various courses in the country prior to the pandemic, with many of them in the medical area.

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