Malaysia will now be issuing identification cards for international students that aim to improve the management of foreign students in the country while also providing a boost in security.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, deputy prime minister of education for Malaysia, is the man behind the new I-Card, which will be issued by the Immigration Department starting July 1.
According to Malaysian news outlet Bernama, the card could also be used as a valid travel document for international students in Peninsular Malaysia.
The cards will feature a photograph, along with the biographical data of each student including passport number and information regarding the educational institution to which they are enrolled.
As part of the announcement, Education Minister Muhyiddin said the validity period of the card, which bears the signatures of the Inspector-General of the police and Immigration Director-General, would depend on the duration of the students’ academic program, but could be extended if the students decided to pursue studies at a higher level.
Usage of the card is expected to extend to the neighboring Sabah and Sarawak regions soon to create nationwide uniformity in recording of information on foreign students. The card cannot currently be used in Sabah and Sarawak as the immigration laws of the states differ from that of Malaysia. With the new I-Card, however, foreign students would no longer need to bring their passports when travelling between the regions.
As for card issuance, the Education Minister is expecting the process to be managed by the educational institutions, with students able to obtain their credential within a day to match the application process for international passports.