Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), a company wholly owned by the Higher Education Ministry which is responsible for the global promotion of the Education Malaysia brand and the provision of international student services which includes the management of applications for a student visa to Malaysia, would like to make clarifications in response to recent media reports quoting a statement made by Deputy Home Minister YB Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who said, “The EMGS screening is done by the Higher Education Ministry without the involvement of the police or the Immigration Department.”
EMGS would like to clarify that whilst EMGS manages the entire application process including the management of the Student Application and Registration (STAR) system - the technology platform developed to manage all student visa applications since EMGS began operations in February 2013, EMGS works in cooperation with the Immigration Department (Jabatan Immigration Malaysia or JIM) in screening and processing all new applications for a student visa to Malaysia and also the annual renewal of student visas.
EMGS also collaborates with JIM and the Royal Malaysian Police (Polis di-Raja Malaysia or PDRM) by providing access to the EMGS database which is used as an important surveillance mechanism for monitoring and tracking of international students by both agencies.
EMGS and JIM’s Student Pass Unit operates under the same roof, a move motivated by EMGS for a more effective turn-around time. JIM’s Student Pass Unit has been housed at EMGS’s One-Stop-Centre in Menara TA One in Kuala Lumpur since July 2014 and in EMGS office in Cyberjaya since Sept 1, 2015.
EMGS also would like to explain and clarify the steps undertaken in processing each international student application for a student visa to study in Malaysia. It is essentially a two-stage process which involves academic screening by EMGS and immigration security screening by JIM with cooperation from PDRM.
Academic screening by EMGS (pre-arrival)
- All applications are made through EMGS’ STARS online portal.
- Applications are submitted either by the Higher Education Institution in Malaysia who has made the offer letter for study to the student or since October 2016, students may themselves apply online directly to EMGS.
- Once all complete documents are received, EMGS begins the academic screening to ensure compliance with policies and regulations of the Higher Education Ministry, Home Ministry and Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
- EMGS begins the academic screening by vetting the authenticity of the examination certificates submitted. This is done with cooperation from the Examination Board/Syndicate of the respective country and in certain cases, the respective embassy.
- EMGS checks that the student’s qualifications meets with the academic requirements of the course applied for and the institution applied to. Academic requirements differ from course to course and institution to institution.
- EMGS also reviews the pre-arrival medical report which is submitted together with the application. Pre-arrival medical screening is done by registered panel clinics in the student’s home country.
- In the interest of the student, EMGS also checks that the course the student has applied for is a valid programme, accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and has an active registration with the Higher Education Ministry, and that the institution applied to also holds an active registration with the Higher Education Ministry and Home Ministry.
- In fact, with the online application system, once a registration of an institution or course expires or is cancelled by the Higher Education Ministry, the system automatically disables any application for the respective course and institution.
- If the application meets all academic requirements as prescribed by the Higher Education Ministry and relevant authorities, EMGS issues a support letter with each application for submission to JIM, within seven working days. The data of all applications are transmitted and integrated electronically to JIM’s MyIMMS system.
Security screening by JIM (pre-arrival)
JIM undertakes the visa application process and security vetting once the application has been screened and supported. Each application will be subjected to JIM’s existing process and requirements and JIM will approve and issue the visa approval letter (VAL) to applicants that meet the set requirements.
Post-arrival screening (by EMGS and JIM)
- Upon arrival in Malaysia, all students are required to undergo a post-arrival medical screening within seven working days at EMGS panel clinics.
- Only when a student passes the medical screening and obtains medical insurance coverage, will JIM endorse the student pass on the passport of the student.
Renewal of student visa (by EMGS and JIM)
- The annual renewal of student visa is subject to academic performance (CGPA of 2.0 and above) and proof of attendance (80 percent and above) in class and subsequent security screening by JIM.As required by the Higher Education Ministry, institutions are responsible for the annual submission of student’s attendance record and academic transcript to EMGS to enable the renewal application to be supported and approved.
We would like to emphasise that EMGS is the only legal gateway for applications for a student visa to study in Malaysia, be it to public or private institutions, including Language Centres and Skills Training Institutes.
EMGS works closely with all law enforcement agencies, namely JIM and PDRM. Since going online, the EMGS STARS portal has become an important surveillance mechanism and EMGS has provided access to the portal and database to both agencies.
EMGS has also facilitated the technology platform at select police stations in peninsular Malaysia which enables the force to check the validity of a student’s i-Kad, the identity card issued by JIM to all international students in Malaysia. The system enables PDRM personnel to swiftly verify a student’s identification and validity of the student visa when any student is stopped, queried or detained by the police.
We would like to assure that all applications are reviewed, screened and processed jointly by EMGS and JIM based on acts, policies and regulations of the Home Affairs Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Human Resources Ministry, Immigration Department and the Royal Malaysian Police.