Visiting + Incoming Exchange

Graduate Visiting Research Student 

Graduate Visiting Research Students (VRS) are admitted as a full-time student to SFU to foster the exchange of ideas, receive specialized training and participate in research collaboration. Graduate students enrolled as a VRS at Simon Fraser University are eligible to undertake research and receive specialized training under the supervision of an SFU Faculty Supervisor. VRS have access to University resources and services including SFU libraries, labs, email services and International Services for Students (ISS). However, VRS are not eligible for the U-Pass and will not have access to recreation facilities.

VRS may not take classes. If you wish to take classes, please apply as a non-degree student.

If the applicant is not eligible for a VRS, they might find that applying as a Visiting Scholar might be more appropriate.


To be eligible for admission to SFU as a VRS you must:

  • be a Master’s or Doctoral student in good academic standing at your home institution
  • maintain enrolment at your home institution for the duration of your stay at SFU

English language qualification

While there is no requirement for VRS to submit English language proficiency scores, the SFU Faculty Supervisor and department are responsible for determining the student’s level of English is sufficient for the proposed research at SFU.

How to Apply

Establish a research arrangement 


Applicants should start by getting in contact with an SFU Faculty Member and/or Department to create a relationship.

Once an SFU Faculty Supervisor agrees to work with you as your host Supervisor, they will need to draft the invitation letter. The letter will be reviewed for final signatures at Step 3. 

Submission of Application

 Departments will gather and submit the following documents to as soon as possible to avoid delays;

  • VRS Application Form
  • Supervisor invitation letter
  • Applicant proof of self-funding
  • Copy of applicant's passport
  • Copy of current university transcript
The application will be processed only after all required documents are received. If admission is approved, Graduate Studies will issue an offer of admission.

Apply for The Appropriate Immigration Document


For International applicants, an advisor from International Services for Students will be in touch with you after your admission letter is issued.  

Learn about the Newcomer Student Support Team

Registration in GRAD 800


Visiting Research Students are admitted to the university with full-time student status for the period of their research studies. VRS will be registered in GRAD 800, a full-time, non-credit course by Graduate Studies for each term during their period of research.

You can receive your library/ID card 24 hours after you have been enrolled in the course.

Note: To obtain your ID card, Visiting Research Students can visit Student Services in person at any of the 3 campuses convenient to them. Information on getting the ID card can be found on this website.

Fees & Getting Started

Visiting Research Students pay a one-time application fee of $500 but will not be charged tuition or ancillary fees. VRS are expected to pay for their own living expenses during their stay at SFU. Getting Started provides general information for all new Graduate students at SFU.

Find information about Medical Insurance.

Changes to Visit Dates

Please notify our office if you are not able to arrive on the intended start date. Any changes to the start and/or end dates of your visit must be agreed to with your supervisor. Once new dates are established, we will require a revised supervisor Invitation letter to issue a revised admission letter. Please send the revised Invitation letter to