How to Convert Current Visa to Student Visa in Philippines

If you’re an international student looking to pursue higher education, it’s crucial to consider converting your current visa to a student visa. This step is vital for achieving your educational goals and immersing yourself in an environment of academic excellence.

Also read: Step-by-Step Guide: How to Apply for an Extension of Your Student Visa in the Philippines

By obtaining a student visa, you’ll have the opportunity to embrace a diverse and vibrant educational experience. You’ll also be able to explore new cultures, expand your horizons, and make lifelong connections with students from around the world. This enriching experience will not only shape your academic path but also contribute to your personal and professional development, preparing you to thrive in a globalized world.

Student Visa

What are the Benefits of Student Visa?

  1. Access to Education: A student visa allows you to pursue educational opportunities in a foreign country, giving you access to world-class institutions and diverse learning experiences.
  2. Cultural Immersion: Studying abroad on a student visa provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for different traditions, languages, and customs.
  3. Personal Growth: Living and studying in a foreign country challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, fostering personal growth, independence, and self-confidence.
  4. Career Opportunities: A student visa can enhance your career prospects by offering international exposure, networking opportunities, and the chance to gain valuable work experience through internships or part-time jobs.
  5. Language Skills: Studying on a student visa allows you to improve your language skills, as you interact with native speakers and use the language in everyday situations.
  6. Global Perspective: By studying in a different country, you gain a global perspective, broadening your horizons and developing a more inclusive mindset.
  7. Cultural Exchange: A student visa facilitates cultural exchange, enabling you to share your own culture with others and learn from the host country’s culture.
  8. Lifelong Connections: Studying abroad on a student visa enables you to build lifelong connections and friendships with people from different backgrounds, creating a global network that can benefit you personally and professionally.



Any individual who is a foreign national and is at least 18 years old can apply. They must be enrolled in a post-high school course of study at a University, seminary, or college.

What are the Requirements Needed?

Please carefully review the checklist of documentary requirements below for converting to a student visa. Before proceeding with the completion of the required documents, it is important to read and understand the general instructions provided above.

1. Ensure you have a checklist containing all the necessary documentary requirements.

  • A joint letter of request, written on the school’s official letterhead with a dry seal, should be addressed to the Commissioner. This letter must be signed by both the authorized representative of the petitioning school and the applicant.
  • The CGAF (Consolidated General Application Form) for Student Visa and Special Study Permit must be duly accomplished.
  • Submit a photocopy of the passport pages that contain the bio-page, the most recent admission stamp indicating valid authorized stay, and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) stamp.
  • Include a Notice of Acceptance from the school, bearing a clear impression of the official dry seal.
  • The school must provide an endorsement letter addressed to the Commissioner, supporting the conversion of the applicant’s status. This endorsement letter should be signed by the School Registrar.
  • If the applicant is pursuing a course in Medicine or Dentistry, a Certificate of Eligibility for Admission from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is required.
  • If applicable, include a CHED endorsement for course transfer or shifting.
  • If the application is filed six (6) months or more from the date of first arrival in the Philippines, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance is necessary.
  • Provide a photocopy of the BI (Bureau of Immigration) school accreditation ID of the registrar or school representative.
  • Lastly, include the BI Clearance Certificate.

2. Completed Application Form.



3. If applicable, provide additional information about the applicant’s children.



Please ensure that all the above-mentioned requirements are fulfilled to facilitate a smooth conversion to a student visa.

Where to Submit the Application?

  • The main office for Business Immigration.
  • Alternatively, you can visit one of the authorized Immigration Offices to process the transaction.

Application Process: Step-by-Step Guide

To apply, follow these steps:

Step 1: Obtain the CGAF (Consolidated General Application Form) either from the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU) at the BI G/F Main Office or through the official BI Website.

Step 2: Submit the required documents for pre-screening to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU) or to the frontline officer or staff at other Immigration Offices authorized to process this transaction.

Step 3: Pay the necessary fees.

Step 4: Provide a copy of the Official Receipt.

Step 5: Proceed to the Image and Fingerprint Capturing Counter of the Alien Registration Division (ARD) and submit the necessary requirements for the ACR I-Card application.

Step 6: Check the website for updates on the visa application status.

Step 7: If the visa application is approved, submit your passport for visa implementation.

Step 8: Once the ACR I-Card is approved, claim your ACR I-Card.

Visa Application

What is the Associated Fee?

Here is the breakdown of payment for a student visa.

  • Implementation Fee – PHP 1,000.00
  • Service Fee – PHP 1,000.00
  • Certificate Fee – PHP 500.00
  • Visa Fee – PHP 1,000.00
  • ICR, CRTV, CRTS, CRTT, CRPE – PHP 1,400.00
  • Legal Research Fee (LRF) for each immigration fee except Head Tax and Fines – PHP 70.00
  • Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) – PHP 1,000.00
  • Head Tax – PHP 250.00
  • Express Fee (Certification) – PHP 500.00
  • Express Fee (Filing) – PHP 500.00
  • Express Fee (I-Card Processing) – PHP 500.00

TOTAL – PHP 9,720.00

Additional I-Card Fee (based on current exchange rate) – $50.00

Also read: Preparing for the Immigration Interview: Helpful Tips and Documents Needed

Enhance Your Student Visa Application: 5 Tips

Here are 5 tips to enhance your student visa application:

  1. Research the requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and documentation needed for the student visa application process. Each country may have different criteria, so ensure you have all the necessary information.
  2. Start early: Begin the application process as soon as possible to allow for any unexpected delays. Gathering the required documents and completing the necessary paperwork takes time, so give yourself ample opportunity to complete everything without rushing.
  3. Seek guidance: Reach out to your educational institution or a visa consultant for guidance and support. They can provide valuable insights, answer questions, and help you navigate the application process more smoothly.
  4. Provide comprehensive documentation: Ensure that all your documents are complete, accurate, and up-to-date. This includes your passport, financial statements, proof of enrollment, and any other relevant paperwork. Thorough and organized documentation increases your chances of a successful application.
  5. Demonstrate strong ties to your home country: To convince the visa authorities of your genuine intent to return to your home country after completing your studies, provide evidence of strong ties. This can include family, property, employment prospects, or any other commitments that show your intention to return.

Student Visa

By following these tips, you can enhance your student visa application and increase your chances of obtaining a visa successfully. Good luck!


It is imperative for international students pursuing higher education to convert their current visa to a student visa. By acquiring a student visa, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in an environment of academic excellence, embrace a diverse educational experience, and establish lifelong connections with students from across the globe. This transformative experience will shape your academic and personal growth, equipping you with the skills needed for success in a globalized world. Please review the eligibility criteria and requirements to initiate your application process.

Contact Information

  • Address: Robinsons Galleria, 22 General Maxilom Ave Ext, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
  • Phone: (+632) 8-524-3769,
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Hi, I am Laika and I am a full-blooded Cebuana, born and raised in Toledo City, Cebu. A mother of 2 girls. I love spending time with my family, watching movies and exploring the beauty of nature. For collabs, email me at

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