Visitors from International Universities

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

IRCC announced a temporary measure to stabilize the number of new study permits issued for two years. As of January 22, 2024, study permit applications from outside Canada require a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) in addition to the Letter of Admission. Please note that visiting students who require study permits will fall under this requirement.

Students registered in graduate degree programs at international universities may apply to come to UBC through one of these mechanisms:


UBC has a large international student exchange program known as Go Global. Graduate students at any one of our Go Global exchange partner universities can apply to come to UBC as an exchange student to conduct term-based coursework.

Please visit the Exchange section of the Go Global website for more information. Note: your application will be through Go Global and not through the UBC Grad School online application system.


A VIRS is an international student who is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or graduate-equivalent program at another university, or is a participant in a UBC-recognized (through Go Global) "bridging" program" who visits UBC for one month or longer (maximum 12 months) to conduct research only.

Please see the VIRS section of the Go Global website for more information and for "bridging program" examples.


If your home institution is not a Go Global exchange partner, you may still apply to come to UBC as a regular visiting graduate student to take courses and conduct research. To apply, follow these steps:

  • Contact the graduate program in which you would like to be a visiting student. The graduate program staff in your selected area of research can advise you on how to apply via the online system.

Please note the following requirements:

  • Official transcripts from your home institution
  • Evidence of English proficiency, where applicable, in the form of an official TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score.
  • A letter of permission from your home university’s Registrar or department head confirming that the coursework and/or research undertaken at UBC while a visiting student is for the purpose of completing the graduate degree requirements at the home university.
  • If you will be conducting research, it is likely you will need to find a faculty member in the program to agree to be your host supervisor.

If successful in your application, you will be sent an admission letter which you can use to obtain a study permit.

Visiting graduate students who wish to take credit courses must register for those courses and will be assessed tuition fees at the prevailing graduate per credit rate, plus authorized student fees.

Visiting graduate students who are also engaged in research activity will be registered for the non-credit activity VGRD500 (master's level) or VGRD 600 (doctoral level). The fee for each registration in this activity, which covers either Winter Session Term 1 or Term 2, or Summer Session, is equal to the tuition fee for one credit of coursework plus authorized student fees.