Simon Fraser University stands ready to support any students, faculty or staff affected by the United States travel ban. If you require support or assistance, please see the resources on our US travel ban site. 

Visiting Research Students (Graduate)

Qualified Visiting Research Students are admitted to SFU in order to foster the exchange of ideas, receive specialized training and participate in research collaboration.

International students are admitted as non-credit seeking students typically for one term (4 months) but visits may be as brief as one month.

Admission Requirements

Visiting Research Students at Simon Fraser University must meet the following criteria.

  • Registered full-time at their home institution in a graduate program (Masters and Doctoral), in good academic standing, and proficient in the English language.
  • Must not take graduate or undergraduate courses while attending SFU.
  • Be able to pay fees to cover student activity fees and the U-Pass BC transit pass.
  • Be able to demonstrate adequate hospital and medical coverage for the duration of their stay. Or; provide proof of alternative coverage.

Application Process

* The type of visa that a visiting research student requires depends on a number of factors including length of stay, purpose of visit and funding source.

Step 1

Establish a research agreement with a faculty member in a department or school with compatible research interests. Here are some tips for finding a supervisor.

Step 2

Complete the Visiting Research Student form and submit it with current transcript and all required documents to your host Department. 

Forward the completed Visiting Research Student Form, transcript and supporting documents to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (gradintl@sfu.ca AND gradstdy@sfu.ca), at least three months prior to the arrival at SFU.

Step 3

Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:
Send the admission letter to the student.

Apply for a study permit upon receiving the admission letter from SFU. Do not include the Visiting Research Student Form in the application. Submit page 2 of the admission letter only to avoid processing delays.

Step 4

Submit proof of medical insurance to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in person (Maggie Benston Centre, Room 1100, Burnaby campus) or by email to gradstdy@sfu.ca.

Register for GRAD 800 through the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (which provides access to the SFU library and the U-Pass BC for Metro Vancouver's transit system) and pay fees. 

Immigration Application

Conducting Research at SFU for less than 120 days:
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 if there is a possibility of extending their studies in Canada as it’s easier to do so within Canada. Alternatively, visiting research students can apply for a study permit outside of Canada if their main purpose is to enroll in courses at SFU.

Conducting research for more than 120 days:
Visiting Research Students must apply for a study permit as required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if the main purpose is to enroll in courses at SFU. Please see Study Permit Application Tips for further instructions.

If the main purpose is to conduct research and not to enroll in courses, a work permit is required for your visit and the host department should contact gradintl@sfu.ca.



Alina Roman
Postdoctoral Fellow Coordinator and Immigration Consultant

For VRS Registration

Email: gradstdy@sfu.ca