Go Global Office of Global Engagement

Visiting International Research Students


UBC is a hub for outstanding researchers from around the world. We welcome Visiting International Research Students (VIRS) to join our community of inquiry. The VIRS program is for international students conducting full-time research at UBC under the supervision of one of our UBC faculty members. UBC has welcomed more than 2,500 VIRS students from 650 universities and 85 different countries since 2014. Go Global manages VIRS. 

While registered as full-time UBC students, VIRS students cannot enroll in academic courses for credit or formally audit courses. 

The VIRS admission process is ongoing and there are no deadlines. Submit your applications at least 12 weeks before your intended date of arrival. Read more about eligibility requirements

Prospective students 

Find out if VIRS is right for you, review VIRS eligibility criteria, learn how to find a UBC supervisor and about the Joint Doctoral Research Scholar Designation


How to apply

Get details about the VIRS application process and follow our step-by-step guide


VIRS fees, iMED & budgeting

All VIRS students pay a program fee and for iMED health insurance, plus need to set money set aside for accomodation and personal costs 


Applying for your initial study permit

Some VIRS students might need to get a study permit. Scan this guide on how to start that process


Info for current & accepted students

Learn about registration at UBC, what to do if you are delayed, program withdrawal and extension, completion letters and other essential information


Info for UBC supervisors

If you are a faculty member supervising a student, get the background on VIRS and how you can support VIRS participants



[Supervisors] Can I provide funding to my VIRS student?
[Supervisors] Should I provide a letter of invitation for my VIRS or prospective VIRS?
[Supervisors] What is expected of a UBC Faculty member hosting a VIRS student?
[Supervisors] Why does the VIRS pathway exist?
[Students] What if I need to withdraw from the program?
[Students] After I've arrived, may I extend my VIRS studies at UBC?
[Students] Do I have access to recreation facilities?
[Students] How do I access the UBC Libraries?
[Students] Am I eligible for the U-Pass?
[Students] How do I access UBC's Secure Wireless Network?