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Maggie Benston Centre, #2203, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Are you an international grad student?


Dear new or returning international graduate students:

We understand that starting or even resuming your program during a pandemic and with the numerous restrictions related to it could raise questions and concerns in your mind. We at the GSS share your concerns and can support you to address these issues. Each department and each case may be different so please feel free to contact us at with your issues and we will do our best to work with the university and find the best solution for you. Your communication with us will stay private.

Here are some of the more common issues we are working on but we would like to hear more from you and your experience:

  • Funding: If you are a new international student in Canada, you will need a SIN number to be able to work here which is not possible to get from abroad. This can be a problem in getting your funding as an RA or TA. Each department is trying to figure out a way to make these payments possible (for example through a scholarship) and we would like to hear about your situation.
  • Tuition and other university fees: We understand that it can be hard and costly to make tuition payments to SFU from abroad. Let us know if you have concerns about this and what your department is offering to make it easier for you.
  • Travel: At this moment, Canada has implemented some travel restrictions to stop non-essential travel to Canada by most foreign nationals due to COVID-19. There are some exemptions from travel restrictions that might apply to you. If you are planning to travel to Canada, make sure you meet the requirements and carry the necessary documents. You can check resources prepared by International Student Services at SFU for more updated information.

All travellers, including those coming from the United States, must carry supporting documentation to help demonstrate that your purpose of travel is essential (non-discretionary)*, for example:

  • proof that you are already established, residing and studying in Canada
  • evidence that your SFU courses are being offered in person (if applicable)
  • evidence that pursuing your studies online from outside Canada is not possible due to bandwidth limitations or internet restrictions in your home country, if your courses are being offered entirely online
  • proof that you cannot participate in synchronous (live) online courses from your home country due to time zone differences, if you are enrolled in synchronous courses
  • valid job offer or proof of employment requiring your physical presence in Canada

For more information, check these links: