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
Students Under 19: Custodianship
Students younger than 17 years of age who come to Canada to study and who are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian must be cared for by a responsible adult in Canada. This person is known as a custodian.
In some cases, a custodian may also be required for students between 17 and 19 years of age (this is the age of majority in British Columbia); this decision is made at the discretion of an immigration officer. Legal arrangements must be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent. Please see IRCC's "Studying in Canada - Minors" page for more information and required forms.
If you need assistance finding a custodian, consider approaching an extended family member living in British Columbia first and then, if necessary, a family friend or business associate for assistance. Alternatively, there are companies that provide such services for a fee. One such company is First Choice International Placement Inc. (contact information provided on the right)
First Choice International Placement Inc.
The company listed above is neither endorsed by, nor affiliated with, Simon Fraser University. This information is simply listed as a resource for students looking for agent services. Simon Fraser University assumes no liability for any disputes arising from custodianship or other services advertised. You and your parents should be aware that you will need to pay for this service and it should be an arrangement they, and you, have researched and feel comfortable with.