In-Person Exchange Students
This website contains general information and resources related to policies, procedures, and application processes.
In accordance with IRCC guidelines, if you are traveling to Canada to study for 6 months or less, you do not need a study permit. If you are coming to SFU for one exchange term, you might be able to travel to Canada as a visitor. Depending on your country of citizenship(s), you may need to apply for a temporary resident visa/TRV (also known as a visitor visa) or an eTA to travel to Canada. To see whether you require a TRV or an eTA visit the IRCC website.
To summarize, for an exchange term of 6 months or less, the following immigration options are available:
If you will come to SFU for a one-term exchange, you must either:
- Apply for a TRV or an eTA (if needed). Visit the IRCC website to determine whether you need an eTA or a TRV. OR
- Apply for a study permit
Keep in mind the processing time when choosing between applying for a TRV/eTA or a study permit. The processing time for a TRV could be longer in certain countries than for a study permit. Visit the IRCC website to check the most current, estimated processing times.
You will not be permitted to work in Canada as a visitor. A study permit is required if you plan to work on and off campus. In addition to having a valid study permit, you must also meet IRCC's requirements to work while studying in Canada.
If you will come to SFU for a two-term exchange, you must:
- Apply and be approved for a study permit before you travel. If you require a temporary resident visa (TRV) or eTA, this will be issued when your study permit application is approved outside Canada.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, note that travel restrictions and entry requirements are subject to change without notice. For the most current, up-to-date information on travelling to Canada, visit the Government of Canada website.
For updates and information on COVID-19 including impacts on immigration applications (e.g. study permits, work permits, visas), entry requirements, work eligibility, and medical insurance, you may also refer to the:
COVID-19 IMMIGRATION AND TRAVEL FAQ FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Before you arrive in Canada, you must obtain the correct immigration document that accurately reflects your student status. Apply early to ensure your application is processed in time.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced biometrics requirements in 2018. Most people who apply for a study permit or visitor visa are now required to provide biometrics as part of the application.