Visiting Graduate Research Students

Arrival Checklist


  • Apply for a visa for Canada, if applicable.
  • Check out International Services for Students website to help you learn about housing, banking, transportation, schooling & childcare, and much more.
  • After you know your travel dates, apply for mandatory medical insurance for yourself and any accompanying family members for the duration of your stay in Canada.
  • Submit your visiting research form and supporting documents to the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies at least three weeks prior to arrival.
  • As the rental market in Vancouver is quite tight, we recommend that you arrange housing prior to arrival. If you will be here for less than one (1) term, particularly in the summer months (May–August), SFU Residence & Housing is a good option for short-term guest accommodations on the Burnaby campus. If you will be here for at least one term or longer, research off-campus housing options. You can find tips on how to search for housing in our Virtual Orientation.
  • Consider joining the SFU Grad Student Facebook group (SFU email required) and Incoming Grad Student Facebook page (no SFU email required) to get connected to the grad student community.

Upon Arrival

  • Submit proof of your medical insurance to the Office of Graduate Studies in person (Maggie Benston Centre, Room 1100, Burnaby campus) or by email to is required prior to registration in GRAD 800 (which provides access to the SFU library and the U-Pass BC for Metro Vancouver's transit system)
  • Pay your fees
  • You can get your Library/ID card 24 hours after you have been enrolled in the Grad 800 course (registration is done by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies). You will need to present valid photo ID (for example, government issued ID or driver’s license). Library/ID cards are produced at any of our three campuses. Visit Student Services for contact information. In addition, see their deadlines page for details on peak card production schedules.
  • Pick up your U-Pass BC for public transit. The U-Pass BC provides unlimited access to public transit around Metro Vancouver.
  • Explore our campus services and ways to meet people (we've created an additional list of resources that may be of specific interest to international visiting research students)