Visas & International Students

Graduate Studies Visa Requirements

To enter Canada, a “Student Authorization” (Student Visa) is required. Apply to the nearest Canadian Consular or Immigration Office as soon as you receive an official letter of acceptance from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as it may take eight to ten weeks for processing; for students applying from the People’s Republic of China, it may take six months.

To apply for your Student Authorization, you will require: UBC letter of acceptance; valid passport; evidence of adequate funds for your tuition, maintenance for yourself and, if married, your spouse and your children; plus travel funds to and from Canada. Once your application for a visa is approved, your UBC letter of acceptance will be returned to you. You should retain it for presentation to the Immigration Officer at the Canadian point of entry.

For more information, please visit Faculty of Graduate Studies: Document Requirements for International Students.

International Student Employment

International students are permitted by Canada Immigration to accept part-time employment on the University Campus. If you are appointed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, or are offered another type of employment on campus, you require an employment authorization (work permit). Note: Graduate Research Assistantships are considered to be the same as Fellowships and therefore do not require employment authorizations.

You must apply for your authorization at your nearest Canadian Immigration Office or to the Canada Immigration Case Processing Centre after you arrive in Canada (this may take six to eight weeks to process). Please consult your department or UBC International House, 1783 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2 Canada / Tel. 604-822-5021.

You should not commence any type of employment without having a valid employment authorization. Failure to comply with this regulation could result in your student authorization being withdrawn.

You must also apply at the nearest Canada Employment Centre for a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as possible upon your arrival in Canada. The paperwork appointing you to a student employee position on campus cannot be processed until you have provided your department with a receipt for your SIN application. To find out how to apply for a SIN, please visit the Anthropology Grad Office for information, or visit the Service Canada website.

Students receiving payments from scholarships also require a SIN number. Spouses of students may apply for authorization to work in Canada, provided they can show legal proof of marriage to the holder of a valid student authorization.