The visa approval period for foreign students in Malaysia has been shortened from 30 days to 14 days.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the decision came at a high-level meeting on the intake of foreign students, the country’s national news agency Bernama reports today.
Ten additional officers would be assigned to the immigration department to ensure that the visas would be issued promptly, he said.
"While waiting for approval of the visas, the government will issue a temporary visa for every application from foreign students after their names have been screened in the Interpol suspects list. For the screening, we use the Advance Passenger Screening System (APSS)," he told local reporters.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, also Malaysian home minister attributed the delay of up to 30 days in processing visas for foreign students in part to Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), the agency adds.
"There is currently a backlog of 4,000 foreign student visa applications due to EMGS's lethargy, both at public and private universities," he said.
EMGS was established as a non-profit company limited by guarantee under the Higher Education Ministry to carry out marketing, promotion and recruitment of international students to Malaysia.
There is no accurate figure but several thousand Bangladeshi students are now studying in different colleges and universities in Malaysia.