Immigration Documents

Last Updated: April 05, 2024 - The information below is current as of the 'last updated' date and is subject to change without notice.

On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced a number of updates and measures to the International Student Program.   As of 8:30 a.m. ET on January 22, 2024, most new post-secondary students applying for a study permit are required to include a provincial attestation letter (PAL) in their study permit application. For more information read below and visit our News and Updates page.

In-Person Exchange Students

This website contains general information and resources related to policies, procedures, and application processes for exchange students at Simon Fraser University.  Please read below for more information about Canadian immigration documents that you will need to study at SFU in an exchange term or terms.  You can then review the linked pages to the right of this text (under 'BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST') for more information.

If you will come to SFU for a one-term exchange

In accordance with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) guidelines, if If you are here for one term or less as an exchange student, you may enter Canada as a visitor and study at SFU without a study permit

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

If you will come to SFU for a two or three-term exchange

If you will be studying at SFU for more than 6 months, you must apply and be approved for a study permit before you can begin your studies. 

If you require a temporary resident visa (TRV) or eTA to travel to Canada, this will be issued when your study permit application is approved outside Canada. 

i On January 22, 2024 the Government of Canada announced changes to the International Student Program which impact most outside Canada study permit applications. Please visit the SFU International Student Advising and Programs website and the IRCC website for more information.

Due to current global events, 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



Before you arrive in Canada, you must obtain the correct immigration document that accurately reflects your student status. Apply early to ensure your application is processed in time.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduced biometrics requirements in 2018. Most people who apply for a study permit or visitor visa are now required to provide biometrics as part of the application.

IRCC Temporary Special Measures

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced temporary special measures to assist eligible applicants affected by ongoing global events.  For more information about current temporary measures in place, please visit the IRCC website. Should you require further information, please contact an International Student Advisor, Immigration Specialist for assistance.