Bachelor's Visa for Filipina

Hi all. I’m from the US, and I’ve been living here in Taiwan for almost 8 years. I’m fairly settled here, as you might imagine, and almost 4 years ago I met my now-girlfriend, who is Filipino. At the time she was working, but for the past year and a half she has been studying Chinese. Now she wants to transfer to a Bachelor’s program, but has been denied a visa. The reason they give for the rejection is that she has not graduated from the K-12 high school program in the Philippines, which was implemented about 6 years after she finished high school. At the time she graduated, high school was only K (or 1st) to 10th grade.

On TECO’s website, the requirement’s for a BA student studying in Taiwan, related to this, are:

  • For bachelor’s program, applicant must be high school graduate with an above average grade every semester.


  • Highest Diploma and Transcript of Records

She has all of this. She also has a 2 year degree from a college in the Philippines, but because it is not recognized by CHED (Commision of Higher Education) in the Philippines, apparently it doesn’t apply. There is no issue with any other requirement for the BA, it seems to just be this problem of when she graduated high school.

TECO’s solution to this is that she should finish a 4 year degree in the Philippines, then she can continue studying in Taiwan. Not a great option, since as mentioned before we’ve settled here in Taiwan and would like to continue living here.

Anybody got any ideas for a way around this, or a possible option so that she can study? Maybe some Filipinos currently studying have some ideas?

K12 was implemented like… 2016 isn’t it?

I assume she graduated prior to this year. In that case, K12 is not existent. Can’t you make a case on this? Where is she now? In Taiwan? In Philippines? I assume you are in Taiwan, if that’s the case, then better talk to someone in NIA.

Other than that, the solution really is to get a 4 year degree as mentioned, because that will effectively make you K12 qualified. I am not sure if it exist, but there could be a shorter course she can take to be K-12 qualified.

If her English level is high enough you can contact . They used to offer GED tests in Taiwan which is a legal US high school equivalent.

According to Wikipedia it went into effect in 2011, then became law in 2013. She graduated in 2004.

She is in the Philippines now, and I’m in Taiwan. I could go to NIA and talk to them, but I think the issue stems from the Philippines, not Taiwan. Worth a try I guess.

Does TECO accept ALS accreditation and equivalency test -high school level?

Passers of the A&E Test are given a certificate/diploma, bearing the Department of Education (DepEd) seal and the signature of the Secretary, certifying their competencies as comparable graduates of the formal school system. Passers are qualified to enroll in secondary and post-secondary schools.

National Open University does not require a high school diploma but does not offer student visas.

Has/can she be accepted or eligible for a bachelor’s program in Taiwan independent of a student visa?

Already I’ve got more info than TECO provided, thanks. I’ll have time to look into the details when I get home to the computer tonight.

As far as a bachelor’s program without a student visa, I think it’s possible with either a marriage Visa or working visa but I’m not positive.

You can go to school here as long as you’re in the country legally, but it would be very difficult for a Filipino to get a job that allowed them the free time to study for a degree.

The K12 system was started some time ago in the Philippines, but it wasn’t rolled out as mandatory in all areas. A relative of mine just started 11th grade last year, but his sibling just 3 years older went straight to university.

As for her junior college not being recognized, depending on the school, she may be able to transfer credits to another school recognized by Taiwan. However, she’d have to take more courses to complete a second 2-year degree, and schools usually limit how many credits they accept, so that might take another year or more. And before starting down that route, I’d find out if a 2-year degree would be acceptable.

For that matter, before trying to bring her on a different visa expecting to go to college here, someone might should talk to some schools directly. They have their own requirements and if she is here on, let’s say, a dependent visa for a spouse, the school may turn her down for not having sufficient qualifications.

As someone else mentioned, the first thing I might try to find out if the high school equivalency test in the Philippines would be accepted as a high school diploma. That said, university slots are limited, but maybe you’ll get lucky as the southbound policy hasn’t collapsed quite yet.