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UBC is a hub for outstanding researchers from around the world and welcomes Visiting International Research Students (VIRS) to participate in our community of inquiry.
A Visiting International Research Student is an international student conducting research full-time at UBC, under the supervision of a UBC faculty member.
The student is either 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*.
A VIRS is enrolled as a “full time” student at UBC for immigration purposes. VIRS students may not enroll in academic courses for credit, nor formally audit courses.
The VIRS admission process is rolling and there are no deadlines. We strongly encourage students to submit their applications at least 12 weeks before the intended date of arrival.
*Examples of a “bridging” program: DAAD Rise Worldwide and Mitacs Globalinks. Contact us with respect to other programs.
Due to changes in the immigration policy at the national level, we are gradually re-opening the VIRS program, which includes in-person research resumption. The preference is still for those students attending through the VIRS pathway to complete as much of their research as possible in a remote setting, however if your research requires you to be on-campus then the capacity to do so now exists. There are a few things to be aware of should you elect to come to UBCO in person:
For more information about COVID-19 and UBC’s response, please visit ubc.ca.
A VIRS must:
We need to receive your completed application at least twelve weeks prior to the planned start date for the research. Take into account that the study permit and/or entry visa application processing times may vary and your VIRS application should be received well in advance for you to receive the Letter of Acceptance to apply for a study permit and/or entry visa.
A VIRS pays a program fee of $415.00 for any period from one month up to one year. The fee must be renewed after one year, should the VIRS wish to extend their research period.
As any new international student, VIRS will automatically be enrolled in the iMED Health Insurance program. Learn more about iMED costs, coverage length, and opt-out eligibility.
Some additional information specific to VIRS:
Depending on the student’s academic level at his/her home institution, a VIRS will be registered in VURS 499 (Undergraduate) or VGRS 599 (Graduate), a non-credit, non-tuition bearing course code which denotes full-time engagement in academic research.
A VIRS will have access to the UBC Library, email services, Go Global services, and, on an urgent need basis, health/counseling services. Use of other services and facilities include but are not limited to areas such as athletics. Transcripts can be accessed on a fee paying basis, as available.
When emailing us, include the following information in the email:
If inquiring about study permits, please be sure to include:
VIRS contact email: email@example.com
UNC 227 – 3272 University Way
Kelowna, BC Canada V1V 1V7
UBC’s Okanagan campus is situated on the territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation