Eligible students are strongly encouraged to submit the completed VIRS application at least eight weeks prior to the planned start date for the research. It may take up to one month for VIRS applications to be reviewed and for you to receive your Letter of Acceptance, which you will need to apply for relevant immigration documents (Canadian visa and/or study permit).
Note that processing times for Canadian visas and study permits vary depending on your location.
Any changes to the start or end dates of your research must be reported to Go Global in order to ensure your Letter of Acceptance is accurate and that you have proper insurance coverage.
- Review the VIRS Eligibility Criteria.
- Download and save the VIRS Approval Form (.pdf) onto your computer
- Complete the form and obtain all the required signatures. (scanned/emailed copies are acceptable)
- Save the Approval Form in PDF or JPEG format.
- Complete the VIRS Initial Application online (survey) and upload the Approval Form where indicated.
- Proceed to the next step and apply for a UBC Student ID Number (you will only receive the link to this form after successfully submitting the VIRS Initial Application).
- Create your Campus Wide Login (CWL) account using the student number you will receive after submitting the online application. *A Campus Wide Login (CWL) will allow you to access the Student Service Centre (SSC), where you will be able to make fee payments.
- The VIRS Program Fee ($415) will be charged to your SSC account about one week after you obtain your UBC Student ID Number.
- Pay the assessed fee to your Student Service Centre (SSC) account. You should receive your UBC Letter of Acceptance within 2 - 3 weeks after paying your VIRS Program Fee. The time will depend on the overall number of applications we are receiving. We ask for your patience in this process. We are not able to rush or expedite letters of acceptance based on your individual situation.
- Apply for the appropriate immigration document (for example, study permit and/or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), if applicable) using the Letter of Acceptance.
Check out "How to apply for an initial study permit as a VIRS", and see processing times for various immigration document applications on the Government of Canada website. Please note:
- Students engaged in research lasting six months or longer require a study permit.
- Students engaged in research lasting less than six months are advised to apply for a study permit, but may complete their research under visitor status.
Students admitted through VIRS will be registered as full-time students at UBC for the duration of their research period, with permission to engage in research education, but may not register in academic courses.