Welcome to CIS Admissions

We invite prospective families and students to experience a renowned international education, whether you live in the Philippines, an international student, or a family in the process of relocating to Cebu from another city/country.

If you haven’t done so, we encourage you to explore our website to find out more about our school, our academic and extracurricular programs, and our guiding statements in order to get an idea of our learning environment.

Chose from any following options below to send in an inquiry, or schedule an admissions meeting either online or in-person.

We look forward to meeting you and your family!

Admissions Criteria

Cebu International School is committed to providing an exceptional international education guided by our mission, vision, and core beliefs. We welcome applications from qualified students at any time of the year.

Applications for admission are accepted throughout the year.

The Republic Act 9190 states that CIS can “accept applicants for admission, regardless of nationality, in accordance with its own eligibility standards, and rules for admission and grade placement: Provided, That no single alien nationality shall consist more than thirty percent (30%) of the entire student Population in a given school year, as stated in the records of the School.”

All students are eligible for admission if it is believed that the School can meet their needs. Students with severe needs cannot be admitted, unless, in the Superintendent’s judgement adequate provision can be made to ensure that the child’s needs can be met and that the learning of other students in the school will not be negatively impacted.

Any student admitted to Cebu International School will be placed at the grade level that is developmentally and educationally most suitable. Records from previous schools and age-appropriateness for the grade placement in question will be the determining factors.

A requirement for enrolment and re-enrolment at CIS is that all parents and students must sign an agreement to follow the policies, rules and procedures of Cebu International School as well as sign the CIS Community Code of Conduct.

Admission to Cebu International School is not a right but a privilege.

Admissions/re-admissions procedures and criteria are guided by the following statements:

1. The primary aim of the School is to serve the educational needs of both expatriates who are temporarily residing in the Philippines with their parents and host country children residing with their parents.

2. Families holding tourist visas may seek admission at CIS provided that the children are secured of a Special Study Permit (SSP) from the Bureau of Immigration (BI). The school facilitates SSP applications after parents have paid the corresponding BI fees.

3. It is the School’s prerogative to accept or reject any application. The acceptance of all new students is probationary, to be reviewed at the end of the year in which the students enroll.

4. The School’s community is diverse and dynamic, and we welcome applications from students of all nationalities.

5. Students are admitted on the basis of previous school records and recommendations and according to their performance on recognized standardized tests or on the School’s own admission test. Depending on the records, reports and tests, applicants may need to be interviewed personally.

6. Admission and readmission of students with learning needs, including English as an Additional Language (or, “EAL”), is at the discretion of the School. The School will accept only those students whose educational needs can be met by the Learning needs and EAL Departments. The School shall determine, and the parents shall accept, the level of support necessary for each student with learning needs, and there shall be an additional charge for these services. It is a condition of enrollment that parents declare all evidence relating to learning needs of their child/ren. Failure to do so may result in admission being subsequently revoked.

7. At no grade level should the combined number of children in the EAL program or the learning needs program reach a level whereby the education of all students in the class is compromised. This number will vary on a number of factors such as class size, the class profile and levels of each EAL and/or LN students in the class. Numbers will be constantly monitored by the Student Support Team in collaboration with the class teachers and principals.

8. All EAL students need to meet mainstream English language requirements for Grade 11 entry.

9. Students are expected to reside with their parent(s). Any exception requires Superintendent’s approval, which is contingent on evidence that the student(s) will be supervised by a close relative or other appropriate adult who is able to provide the support and care of a family home, and who is legally recognized in the Philippines as the student’s guardian. (See Board Policy 8.1.1 regarding Guardianship.)

10. The academic program in G11-12 is based on the IB Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum. Students who are prepared for the rigors of the full DP are recommended to aim for both the CIS HS Diploma and the externally earned IB Diploma, although only the CIS High School Diploma is required for graduation (refer to Board Policy 7.8.6 for Graduation Requirements).

11. All enrolling students must undergo a comprehensive medical examination each year.

Any student admitted to Cebu International School will be placed at the grade level that is developmentally and educationally most suitable.

Age Guidelines for School Admission

Class Size

(Ref. Board Policy 7.2)
In order to keep the teacher/student ratio within the norms of other international schools in the region and optimal teaching learning success, CIS uses the following as a guide:

ClassClass Size Limite
Early Years 1 (Preschool 2)10 (5:1 student:adult ratio guide)
Early Years 2-3 (Preschool 3-4)14 (7:1 student:adult ratio guide)
Grades 1- 220
Grades 3-424
Grades 5-1224

The school reserves the right to increase the class size number at the discretion of the Superintendent when necessary, but such flexibility will not go beyond three extra students.

a) Non–English Speaking Students or English as an Additional Language Students
Students with limited English proficiency are required to attend an English as an Additional Language (EAL) class until such time that they are ready to mainstream onto the regular program. EAL students are charged an additional fee for this additional service.

Note the additional EAL service includes intensive instruction from specialist EAL teachers in a pull-out EAL class, as well as in-class “sheltered immersion” support from EAL and class teachers, and Educational Assistants in regular classes.

Primary Years Programme (Early Years 1-Grade 5):
In the early years and elementary school, children are admitted regardless of their level of English language proficiency, provided their educational needs can be met by the school.

Middle Years Programme (Grades 6-10):
In Grade 6-8, applicants are expected to be at or very close to an intermediate level of English language proficiency, with increasingly higher levels expected in the upper grade levels. Applicants are assessed to determine language and/or learning needs, and the Learning Needs and EAL Departments will assess if the school can meet the need.

Due to the rigor of the IB programs CIS uses, the School has to be very careful when EAL students apply to Grade 9 or above to be able to ensure their success in Grade 11 and 12. Grade 9 and 10 applicants are therefore expected to have at least a strong intermediate to advanced level of English language proficiency.

Diploma Programme Years (Grades 11-12):
CIS offers the rigorous International Baccalaureatte Diploma Programme (DP) in Grades 11 and 12. Students applying for Grade 11 or 12 therefore need to be proficient, or very close to proficiency, in English language communication skills in order to cope with the academic requirements of the program.

All EAL students need to meet mainstream English language requirements for Grade 11 entry, as there is no “pull out” English support class provided to in Grade 11-12.

Students will decide if they will sit DP exams by October of their grade 1,2 with parent consent. Ex-EAL students who are struggling to manage may opt to take DP certificates (select some but not all DP subjects to sit the examination) or select the internally assessed CIS Diploma. (See the CIS IB Guide for more details).

b) Learning Needs
In consideration of alignment with the Admissions Policy, if the school is able to cater for the learning needs of the applicant, they can be considered for enrolment. The learning needs of such students are guided by the School Support Team and adapted for each individual situation. The purpose of this is to help students with learning needs to function within the school’s program. This means they must be able to access our curriculum and make progress. It does not mean the teachers will “cope” with them in class while the student fails to reach the desired grade level objectives set by the school.

Admission and readmission of students with learning needs, including EAL needs, is at the discretion of the School. The School will accept only those students whose educational needs can be met by the Learning needs and EAL Departments. The School shall determine, and the parents shall accept, the level of support necessary for each student with learning needs, and there shall be an additional charge for these services. It is a condition of enrollment that parents declare all evidence relating to learning needs of their child/ren. Failure to do so may result in admission being subsequently revoked.

c) Filipino Applicants
Filipino applicants, as members of the international community, are most welcome at CIS.
Parents must declare the nationality of their child upon enrolment. Foreign students are required to process their Special Study Permit through the Department of Immigration.
Filipino and foreign students need to be aware that, should they wish to enroll in a college or university within the Philippines, there are course requirements for Filipino language and Philippine History. These courses are offered at CIS.

Cebu International School complies with Philippine Government laws by assisting foreign students to secure special study permits (SSP) from the Bureau of Immigration.

Procedure for SSP Application 

  1. Pay the corresponding SSP Application fee at the cashier’s office.
  2. Provide a 2” x 2” color photograph with a white background. 

* Special Study Permits are valid for one school year, (August to June) provided that students’ stay remains valid.  

Balikbayan Visa Holders 

The Philippine Government requires a special study permit, rather than student visa, for foreign students who are minors including Balikbayan Visa Holders. 

Exemptions from Securing the Special Study Permit (SSP) 

Children of parents in any of the following visa categories are exempted from this requirement:

  • Permanent foreign residents 
  • Foreign nationals with valid working visas under Sections 9(d), 9(g) and 47(a)(2) of the Commonwealth Act No. 613 
  • Personnel of foreign diplomatic and consular missions residing in the Philippines 
  • Foreign diplomatic personnel 
  • Special Retiree’s Resident Visa (SRRV) 
  • Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)

The priority for school enrolment will be given to students who are living with one or both of their parents. Requests for guardianship placements will be considered on a case–by-case basis, and will be subject to the Superintendent’s specific approval and contingent on assurances regarding the health, well-being and safety of the individual students as well as the educational advisability of the admission.

The school’s basic premise is that children should be with their parents if at all possible, and if there is a compelling need for arrangements other than this, then the Guardian should preferably be a blood relative of the child. Exceptions to this policy can be given by the Superintendent.

Applicants are asked to complete the Affidavit of Guardianship.

Class Balance

We strive to maintain a balance of genders, abilities and nationalities in each of our grade years and classes. The percentage of a nationality mandated by Republic Act 9190 which states that no single alien nationality shall consist more than thirty percent (30%) of the entire student population in a given school year.


When the number of eligible applicants exceeds the allowable number of students in a class, applicants are put onto a Waitlist. The school reserves the right to prioritize waitlisted applicants considering a variety of criteria including, but not limited to: class balance (nationality, EAL and LN numbers, gender), family situation, EAL and LN support capabilities, presence of siblings at CIS, alumni children, other educational options available for the applicant, returning students in good standing, and timing of the application (earlier applications will get precedence, should all other factors be equal).

The Admissions Office will go through all the applications and review the documentations with the Enrollment Committee. The Enrollment Committee involves the relevant Principal, School Counselor, Student Support Coordinator and the DP Coordinator in the upper grades. Admissions decisions, including the grade level placements, are made by the relevant Principal, and presented to the Superintendent for approval.

Once the enrollment is approved, the admissions office coordinates with the finance department to issue and send a Statement of Account (SOA) via email. Upon payment of the SOA, families will be notified of the official start day of the student(s).

Step I: Inquiry
All initial inquiries shall be considered by the Admissions Office staff. Inquiries may be made online via the OpenApply platform.

Step II: Documentation
The applicant has to submit the following documents:

1. Completed Application for Enrollment Form with the student’s photo attached.

2. Authentic copy of school records with the latest ratings. If written in another language, include an English translation authenticated by the appropriate embassy or consular office.

3. Recommendation (see pro-forma) from the immediate past school principal/guidance counselor
Recommendation Form (PS-KG)
Recommendation Form (Grade 1-5)
Recommendation Form (Grade 6-8)
Recommendation Form (Grade 9-10)
Recommendation Form (Grade 11-12)

4. Copy of birth certificate; if Filipino must submit a birth certificate copy that is duly certified by the National Statistics Office/Philippine Statistics Authority

5. Duly notarized Affidavit of Guardianship (2 copies), if applicable

6. Health Registration Form with Immunization Record and Parent/Guardian Medication Authorization. The CIS Medical Form may be taken to your family physician or doctor to be completed here in Cebu.

7. Non-Filipino passport holder applicants must also submit the following:
৹ Copy of passport of parent/s or guardian/s and student that includes: 1) Identification Page 2) Page that shows latest entry in the Philippines
৹ Copy of alien/immigrant Certificate of Residence (ACR or ICR), if applicable
৹ Copy of parent’s/dependent’s visa, if application is ongoing, please submit a photocopy of the Application Form stamped received by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
৹ If under 9a (tourist) visa, the parents shall pay P5,500 to secure a Special Study Permit (SSP) that will be processed by the school in the Bureau of Immigration. Note: Holders of Balikbayan visa must also secure a Special Study permit (SSP).
৹ Letter of Guarantee, if fees shall be paid by a company/corporation

Step III: Submission of application form and other requirements and payment of Application Fee
The parent/guardian submits the necessary paperwork and pays the non-refundable Application Fee of Php10,000 upon submission of the above-listed documents.

Step IV: Initial Evaluation of Documents and Reservation
1. The Admissions Officer in coordination with the School Counsellor evaluates the application and the supporting documents submitted.

2. With the advice from the Admissions Office, the parent/guardian may pay the reservation fee of Php40,000. Place reservation is based on the student’s completed grade level. Grade level placement is finalized by the principal.

3. The reservation fee is non-refundable.

Step V: Assessment
Applicants shall take an entrance assessment.

A. All applicants for admission shall undergo an entrance assessment. This includes an academic proficiency test (for G2 and up applicants) by the school counsellor, and an English as an Additional Language (EAL) assessment by the EAL teacher if deemed necessary. The entrance assessment for Preschool up to Grade 1 applicants is via classroom observation, done by either the School Counselor and/or the Student Support Department Head.

B. Any CIS student who has left CIS for one school year or more will be required to pay the application fee and the re-entry assessment again.

C. An applicant who does not pursue an initial enrollment application may re-apply at any time provided the required fees were paid. If prior arrangements were not made for the delay, however, depending on the time of the year and reason for the delay, the applicant may need to wait for a period of time for their application to be reactivated, and their priority on any waitlist will be reset. Students reapplying after six months have elapsed may need to retake the admissions assessments, in which case the application fee must be paid again to cover the re-testing.

Step VI: Principal’s Interview & Enrollment Confirmation
1. The principal conducts an interview with the parent/guardian and the student. The principal finalizes the student’s enrollment and the placement.

2. Admissions acceptance is recommended by the principal, and presented for approval to the Superintendent.

3. The Admissions Officer shall convey to parents the final action on the application. If approved, the following information will be sent to the parent/student with an acceptance letter:
‣ Class supply list (from grade 6 to 12)
‣ Prescribed school uniform information
‣ Fee payment details

STEP VII: Payment of School Fees
1. Upon notification of admissions acceptance, the accounting section of the finance department will prepare the Statement of Accounts (SOA). The Entrance Fee is a one-time fee collected from the student only once through his/her schooling at CIS. This also applies to students who leave CIS, then return to at a later date, provided they paid the entrance fee before leaving.

2. The parent proceeds to the cashier to pay the school fees as indicated in the SOA and purchases school uniforms.

STEP VIII: Entering Classes at CIS
The student will be invited to commence attendance on the most appropriate day depending on the date and school events. This will be at least one working day after the payment is received by the Cashier or after payment is recorded in the school’s bank account, in order to give the teacher time to prepare for the arrival of a new student.

Step I: Complete the Reservation/Re-enrollment Form shared via email
In order to reserve a space for the upcoming school year, the parent/guardian shall pay the Reservation Fee of Php 40,000. A re-enrollment link will be sent to parents. Any updates in your mailing, billing, e-mail addresses and/or telephone numbers should be communicated if this has not already been done.

Step II: Update Health Records
The parent/guardian must update their child/ren’s health record/s by submitting a completed Health Form (forms available at the Admissions Office or linked here).

Step III: Pay School Fees
Pay fees as stated in the Statement of Accounts (SOA).

Note: Returning students do not have to pay the Entrance Fee again.

Responsive and Fair Educational Opportunities

(Ref. Board Policy 8.1)

Cebu International School (CIS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin, and seeks to accept all qualified students who apply, subject to limitations placed by the Government of the Philippines or those specified within our by-laws and other published documents.

Non-native speakers of English who are not fluent in the English language may be admitted only if space is available in the school’s English as an Additional Language (EAL) program; their admission is at the discretion of the school.

CIS has developed the capacity through the Learning Needs Department to educate students with low-medium levels of additional learning needs, physical or mental disabilities, or emotional disorders. It does not have the resources to cater to medium-high levels of needs. The School reserves the right to exclude students whose needs cannot be adequately met by the School, as determined by the School.