Students from other institutions may come to the University of Saskatchewan as a Visiting Research Student (VRS) to only conduct supervised student research with a faculty member.

A VRS is enrolled at USask to undertake full-time research with a faculty supervisor for a period of no more than 12 months per 18-month period. For international VRS with terms exceeding 6 months, a provincial attestation letter (PAL) is required, less than six months the PAL is not required.

To obtain a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) and support the continued mobility of incoming VRS who wish to spend more than 6 months at USask, please contact shakiba.jalal@usask.ca.

Students may be undergraduate, graduate, or in between degree levels. This student category does not permit enrollment in any credit coursework at USask. Visiting Research Students will be registered as full-time students at USask in an "XVRS" research course.

After a 12-month period as a Visiting Research Student, a student is not eligible to begin another term as a VRS until at least six months after the previous study period has concluded.

It is the responsibility of the student and faculty supervisor to make any necessary arrangements for the duration of appointment at USask.


Before applying, a Visiting Research Student must have:

  • an identified USask faculty member who has agreed to serve as the research supervisor
  • a set of research objectives, activities, and anticipated learning outcomes approved by the faculty supervisor
  • a Visiting Research Student agreement must be filled out and signed by the student, USask faculty supervisor and Department Head (or equivalent) prior to submitting the application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

By signing, you have confirmed you have reviewed in light of Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC) that the applicant is not working in a sensitive research area, and that the institution affiliation is of no concern based on the Canadian Government's listing of Named Research Organizations. If you have questions regarding the Canadian Government's new policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC), or would like some assistance in determining how to assess associated risks prior to your approval of this file, please contact Lisa Belhumeur (belhumeur.lisa@usask.ca).

Processing timeframe

Start dates must be achievable and take into account processing times by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). An applicant should anticipate the approval and admission process to take between two and four weeks to complete. IRCC application processing times vary, and may be checked here:

1. Create account
  • Indicate current education level
  • Academic level of interest = Other
  • Estimated entry term
  • You will not be selecting a program at this stage

In "My Account" you will select "Start Application"

Image highlighting My Account menu

  • Next, select "Graduate program: post-graduate diploma, master's or PhD"
  • Then select Visiting Research Student or Non-degree
An image showing the Visiting Research Student or Non-degree selection

You will then be asked to confirm the start term (it's okay if this info is not accurate at this point)

2. Sections of the application
  • Applicant and Biographical Information: name, address, email contact, gender, date of birth, citizenship status, questions on self-identification (some items will have carried over from Account information)
  • Academic History: identify post-secondary institution(s), home institution, and academic standing outside of USask (graduate or undergraduate or other)
    • If you are not currently attending an institution, please use your last attended institution here
  • Planned Program of Study:
    • Visiting Research Students are admitted to engage in research with a faculty supervisor, not permitted to engage in course work.
    • Non-degree students are admitted to USask to engage in course work (whether for credit or in an audit capacity). Yes, indicates intention as a non-degree student.A screenshot showing the planned program of study selection
    • Applicants are requested to provide a brief explanation on intended purpose for admission
      • Visiting research student must identify if the USask faculty member has agreed to supervisor (without a supervisor agreement the application will not be reviewed)
      Screenshot showing supervisor approval selection
      • Anticipated start and end dates (non-degree applicants must provide start date)
      Screenshot showing start and end date input boxes
      • Name of supervisor, department head, department’s graduate administrator
      Screenshot showing supervisor input fields
  • Applicants will not be selecting a major or field of study in the application – that will be determined by CGPS based upon information provided in the application
  • English Proficiency is not required for VRS
  • Funding information: the information as provided by the application will, if appropriate, appear on the letter of admission
  • Additional information: certify that the information provided is true and complete in all respects and that no relevant information has been withheld, agree to comply with USask regulations
  • Application fee will not be required from those seeking to be admitted as VRS.

  1. After the application is submitted, the applicant is required to upload a copy of their curriculum vitae (CV) and the completed visiting research student agreement Visiting Research Student Agreement 2024 (filled out with all parties signatures).
  2. The application will then be reviewed by College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS).
  3. Once the application is approved, an official letter of acceptance will be uploaded to your admissions account for you to view and download.
  4. The letter of acceptance can be used to support your application for a study permit. Please ensure you have reviewed the information about study permits. Before your departure, you must check with IRCC to determine which necessary documentation you require to enter and stay in Canada. It is each student's responsibility to research immigration options and apply for the appropriate documentation. You must also verify what documents you'll need as proof of receiving funding for engagement in student activities.
  5. Once you arrive on campus, to ensure you can begin engaging in research, please visit the CGPS office to register you in the VRS placeholder:

    University of Saskatchewan
    Room 116 Thorvaldson Building
    110 Science Place
    Saskatoon, SK  S7N 5C9

  • Once you arrive on campus, to ensure you can begin engaging in research, please visit the CGPS office to register you in the VRS placeholder:

    University of Saskatchewan
    Room 116 Thorvaldson Building
    110 Science Place
    Saskatoon, SK  S7N 5C9
  • Visiting Research Students will be registered as a full-time student in a non-credit placeholder course, which confirms that they are engaged in academic research activities.
  • Visiting Research Students should anticipate that registration will align with the dates submitted in the application and approved by the supervisor and department head.
  • Students will be registered in the placeholder course for each term during their period of research activity. Admission terms are Spring (May to June), Summer (July to August), Fall (September to December) and Winter (January to April). If a student is undertaking supervised research for only a portion of a term, all applicable fees will be charged in full (refer to the information below).
  • For students registered in both Spring and Summer terms, the administrative fee will be charged once, to cover the duration of the four months.
  • Visiting Research Students will be admitted on the understanding that research will be the exclusive focus of their academic activity and are not permitted to register in other coursework. A VRS wishing to take academic courses, whether for credit or audit, must pursue admission through the appropriate category. For students wishing to take courses or who will be participating in research longer than 12 months, the appropriate category will be Joint Student. For students not participating in research and who wish to take course work, admission as a graduate non-degree student may be appropriate. If you wish to discuss exchange student opportunities, including those for undergraduate students, please contact ISSAC.
Tuition and fees
  • Visiting Research Students will be assessed off-campus student fees and will have access to limited USask student services. These student fees provide access to such services as the Graduate Student Association (GSA), University Library, Student Central, and the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.
  • Visiting Research Students will not be charged tuition; however they will be charged a $100 CAD per-term administrative fee. Student fees and VRS administrative fees may be paid online in the student's PAWS account.
  • Visiting Research Students will be responsible for their own health plan coverage. The University will not be responsible for costs associated with health care. These students, however, may elect to enroll in a Health and/or Dental plan through the Graduate Students Association (GSA). Visiting Research Students may also elect to opt into the public transit (U-Pass) plan.
Additional information
  • Upon completion of research at USask, a Visiting Research Student will be assigned a CR (Completed Requirement) for satisfactory completion of the research objectives or an F (Fail). These grades will apply only to the final term of registration. All terms of registration prior to the final term will reflect "In Progress" grades.
  • An official transcript may be ordered. Processing and postage fees may apply.