International Student Calls Out M’sian Public Uni For Mishandling His Visa, Causing Him To Overstay
Many a time, when a local student goes overseas to further their studies, Malaysians would make a fuss that people should champion local universities instead.
With that being said, if an international student chooses to study at a Malaysian local university, shouldn’t the institution provide them with fair and proper services?
Marwan, a 3rd year aerospace engineering student from Egypt reached out to WORLD OF BUZZ to share his troubles with a Malaysian public university.
It all started when the public university had allegedly taken money from him, an apparent RM1,349, for his inter-variation visa in 2021 to which they had then allegedly hidden from him.
“It was for my 2021 visa, which I asked them why they had hidden it from me. They (the university’s visa office) just started beating around the bush, they were not straight with me. They said ‘oh, it only matters what visa you have in your passport, doesn’t matter what we show you or not’.”
“Basically, I had to call a company under the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry, it’s called EMGS that handles visas for international students, and they told me that my last valid visa was for 2021, yet when I called my university, they said my last valid visa was 2020, so they hid the visa from me,” he said.
The university’s role is to take Marwan’s passport to the immigration department to have the visa sticker placed inside his passport and to collect his student pass to be handed back to him, to which they did not do. Both the visa sticker and student pass have already been prepared by the immigration department.
But, in order for Marwan to get his hands on his new inter-variation visa, he would then need to get a medical check-up
According to Marwan, the university had informed him that he needed to do a medical check-up to proceed with his inter-variation visa (which was active at this point).
At that time, it was the MCO period and the university hospital turned him away as they were only accepting Covid-19 patients. He had tried again during CMCO but they then told him he needed to make an appointment.
“After that, I went back to the visa unit and they told me they don’t know how to book an appointment, they said maybe try online or something, so I tried online but it was only for postgrads.”
“I found out that I HAVE TO do the medical check-up at the university’s hospital, I cannot do it outside. So, I kept going back and forth with the office. It’s been over a year or two, trying to get a clear answer but unfortunately, they couldn’t book an appointment for me, they didn’t know the system,” he explained.
And only recently had the university implement a new system where international students can provide them with their names, university email address and matric numbers and the visa office would contact them, though at this point, Marwan’s inter-variation visa had long expired.
Even after the visa expired, he was still trying to get his medical check-up.
Having to endure so much trouble, Marwan is desperately trying to attain a new visa so that he can complete his course
What makes this entire situation so much worse is that when Marwan had asked if he would be fined for overstaying in Malaysia, the university visa office told him no. But then later on, they told him that he needed to pay a fine of RM2,000 to RM3,000 should he have to leave the country for a period of time.
Due to all of this, the university has now given Marwan 2 choices:
- to either leave the country and come back after a certain amount of time to try again (and pay the RM2,000 to RM3,000 fine).
- to overstay his time in Malaysia to complete his studies while risking his position with Malaysian law.
Ultimately, to attain a new visa, he would have to leave Malaysia and come back at a later time
“I am definitely going to miss the first few weeks of lectures.”
“(I have) 3 semesters (left) and it has definitely taken a toll because other than the load of assignments and projects, we barely have any time for ourselves. So right now I have to sacrifice time that I could be studying or focusing on myself.”
“Now I have to spend that time talking to the visa office, talking to immigration and that’s definitely showing up on my grades, my mental health and all of that,” Marwan shared, adding that this has also affected his daily life from his process of applying for a car and having to go through road blocks while commuting.
With the unnecessary headaches that Marwan has to endure just to complete his studies in Malaysia, we genuinely hope that the Higher Education Ministry and Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin, can assist in sorting this out while also ensuring this never happens to any other international student in the future.
Also read: MOE Releases Statement on SPM Workshop Issue at Johor Convent School, M’sians Say it is a Cover Up
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