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Simon Fraser University stands ready to support any students, faculty or staff affected by the United States travel ban. If you require support or assistance, please see the resources on our US travel ban site. 

Visiting Research Students (Graduate)

Qualified Visiting Research Students are admitted to SFU in order to foster the exchange of ideas, receive specialized training and participate in research collaboration.

International students are admitted as non-credit seeking students typically for one term (4 months) but visits may be as brief as one month.

Admission Requirements

Visiting Research Students at Simon Fraser University must meet the following criteria.

  • Registered full-time at their home institution in a graduate program (Masters and Doctoral), in good academic standing, and proficient in the English language.
  • Must not take graduate or undergraduate courses while attending SFU.
  • Be able to pay fees to cover student activity fees and the U-Pass BC transit pass.
  • Be able to demonstrate adequate hospital and medical coverage for the duration of their stay. Or; provide proof of alternative coverage.

Application Process

* The type of visa that a visiting research student requires depends on a number of factors including length of stay, purpose of visit and funding source.

Step 1

Student:
Establish a research agreement with a faculty member in a department or school with compatible research interests. Here are some tips for finding a supervisor.

Step 2

Student:
Complete the Visiting Research Student form and submit it with current transcript and all required documents to your host Department. 

Department:
Forward the completed Visiting Research Student Form, transcript and supporting documents to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (gradintl@sfu.ca AND gradstdy@sfu.ca), at least three months prior to the arrival at SFU.

Step 3

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:
Send the admission letter to the student.

Student:
Apply for a study permit upon receiving the admission letter from SFU. Do not include the Visiting Research Student Form in the application. Submit page 2 of the admission letter only to avoid processing delays.

Step 4

Student:
Submit proof of medical insurance to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in person (Maggie Benston Centre, Room 1100, Burnaby campus) or by email to gradstdy@sfu.ca.

Student:
Contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to request registration in GRAD 800 (which provides access to the SFU library and the U-Pass BC for Metro Vancouver's transit system). You can receive your library/ID card 24 hours after you have been enrolled in the Grad 800 course. You will need to present a valid photo ID (e.g.  government issued ID or driver’s license) in order to pick up your library/ID card at one of the three campuses. 

Immigration Application

Conducting Research at SFU for less than 120 days:
Visiting research students may come to Canada under visitor status for which a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be required, depending on the country of citizenship.

However, we encourage visiting research students to apply for a study permit if there is a possibility of extending their studies in Canada as it’s easier to do so within Canada. Alternatively, visiting research students can apply for a study permit outside of Canada if their main purpose is to enroll in courses at SFU.

Conducting research for more than 120 days:
Visiting research students are not permitted to enroll in regular courses at SFU (other than GRAD 800), therefore a work permit is required for your visit. The host department should contact gradintl@sfu.ca for more information. If you wish to take courses beyond GRAD 800, you will need to be admitted as an exchange student and not a visiting research student. As an exchange student you will need to apply for a study permit. Please see Study Permit Application Tips for further instructions.

If the main purpose is to conduct research and not to enroll in courses beyond GRAD800, a work permit is required for your visit and the host department should contact gradintl@sfu.ca.

Contacts

FOR POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS, GRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS, AND VISITING RESEARCH SCHOLARS

Alina Roman
Postdoctoral Fellow Coordinator and Immigration Consultant
gradintl@sfu.ca
778.782.9935

For VRS Registration

Email: gradstdy@sfu.ca