In-Person Exchange Students
This website contains general information and resources related to policies, procedures, and application processes.
In accordance with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (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 IRCC processing times 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.
A study permit is required if you want to work on and/or 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 apply for a TRV or eTA only you will not be permitted to work on campus or off campus while 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.
Note that due to current global events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian 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 about immigration applications (e.g. study permits, work permits, visas), entry requirements to Canada, work eligibility, and medical insurance, you may also refer to the:
Travel to Canada: Visa Considerations
If you plan to visit or transit through another country en route to Canada
You should check with that country’s Embassy/Consulate to find out which documents you and your accompanying family members will need to enter and/or transit through on your way to Canada. Make sure you apply well in advance!
Planning to transit through the United States?
You may require a visa to transit through the United States on your way to Canada. Before you book your flight to Canada, you should ensure that you have the proper documents. Check with the United States Embassy or Consulate closest to you. You can also find information about U.S. visa requirements on the U.S. Department of State website.