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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 a SFU faculty supervisor typically for one term (agreement length may vary). VRS have access to University resources and services including but not limited SFU libraries, labs, email services and ISS services.
Fall 2021 admissions for Graduate Visiting Research Students (VRS) are now open.
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 agreement
|Submit a research agreement directly to the SFU faculty member you wish to conduct research.
|Complete the VRS form|
|As there are significant waiting times to process visa applications, complete applications should be submitted as soon as possible:
Your application will be processed only after all required documents are received. If the visit is approved, GPS will issue an offer of admission.
Apply for work permits (if necessary)
|Depending on the details of your visit, you may be required to apply for a visa, e.g. study permit and/or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Apply for the appropriate immigration documents using page 2 of the Letter of Acceptance.
Learn more →
NOTE: Depending on the length of your stay and your nationality you may be provided an additional letter for your work visa application. Please contact an International Student Advisor at ISS for advice and support in terms of immigration matters.
After admission, register in GRAD 800
|VRS will be registered in GRAD 800, a full-time, non-credit course. Once admitted, please contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to request registration in GRAD 800 (which provides access to the SFU library). You can receive your library/ID card 24 hours after you have been enrolled in the course.
Note: You can request your SFU Student ID card online.
Visiting Research Students are admitted to the university with full-time student status for the period of their research studies. VRS should be registered for each term during their period of resesarch.
VRS do not pay tuition, but are expected to pay for their own living expenses during their stay at SFU.
You will be eligible for the CARES program which offers self-isolation support for the mandatory two-week isolation period (with either a room and meals plan or a room alone plan).
Note: you will not be eligible to receive the SFU subsidized rate nor apply for any financial aid to support your self-isolation period.
Conducting research for 120 days or less
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 or work permit if there is a possibility of extending their stay in Canada — having a valid study or work permit can make the extension process easier.
Conducting research for more than 120 days
Depending on the details of your visit, you may require either a study permit or a work permit.
A work permit is required if you are:
- Receiving remuneration or a research award specific to this visit (either from SFU or elsewhere), or
- Performing work for your SFU supervisor, even if unpaid (for example: joining their lab, doing collaborative research, or directly contributing to research projects at SFU).
If you require a work permit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to assess your eligibility and for assistance with the application process.
A study permit may be appropriate if you are:
- Self-funded (i.e. you are not receiving any award or funding for your visit), and
- Working solely on your own project (e.g. thesis or dissertation) under the supervision of an SFU faculty member
Visiting duration of six months or less
If your visit will be six months or less in duration, you may study without a study permit. However, we do advise that you apply for a study permit if there is a possibility you will want to extend your stay. A valid study permit along with full-time enrollment in GRAD 800 will also allow you to legally work on campus at SFU during your visit. For details on the study permit application process, visit the International Services for Students (ISS) website.