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Visiting Research Students

Overview

Visiting Research Students are a special category of students who come to Dalhousie to further their research with a Dal supervisor. Visiting Research Students do not take any courses at Dalhousie; students who wish to take graduate courses at Dalhousie on a letter of permission should contact the Dalhousie Registrar's Office

Application Process

  1. Complete the Visiting Research Student application [PDF - 123kb] 
  2. Request a letter from your Dalhousie supervisor that supports your stay at Dalhousie and indicates the duration of your study period (supervisors are encouraged to use our template letter [DOCX - 72KB] netID login required)
  3. Request a letter from your supervisor at your home university that supports your stay at Dalhousie and indicates the duration of your study period 
  4. International students are additionally required to submit a Supervisor's Form for Inviting a Visiting International Graduate Student Researcher/Intern [PDF - 58kb] that the Dalhousie supervisor should complete
  5. Send the completed Visiting Research Student application package (two letters, $100 application fee, plus Supervisor's Form for Inviting a Visiting International Graduate Student Researcher/Intern [PDF - 57kb] Form, if needed) to the Dalhousie Registrar’s Office either by email at registrar@dal.ca or by mail at PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Canada.

Note: We do not require references, transcripts, TOEFL scores, or other supporting documents for visiting research students.

Registration & Fees

Visiting research students must be registered each term, or part thereof, that they are here. This gives them an active student status at Dalhousie and a DalCard. Visiting research students do not pay tuition, however they are charged incidental fees for each term they are here (approximately $125 per term); these fees provide the student access to the libraries, campus-wide wi-fi, labs, etc. Visiting research students will also receive an official Dalhousie academic transcript at the end of their stay.

International Students

Health Insurance

International visiting research students are required to have health insurance. They are automatically enrolled in the Dalhousie Health Insurance Plan upon registration. For more information on this plan, please visit the Dalhousie Student Union’s (DSU) health plan page.

Visiting Research Students who are here for the full academic year will be automatically billed and enrolled for the DSU International Health Plan.

Visiting Research Students who are here for a full term will be automatically billed and enrolled for the DSU International Health Plan. If you are here for less than a full year you can have the plan pro-rated by visiting the DSU Health Plan Office within one week of your arrival in Halifax.

  1. Visit the DSU Health Plan Office within one week of your arrival in Halifax
  2. Present your letter of acceptance and invitation to study from your Dalhousie Supervisor

Visiting Research Students who are here for short durations (anything under 4 months/1 term) would be eligible to opt out of the DSU International Health Plan and enroll under the DSU Short Term Plan by visiting the DSU Health Plan Office within one week of your arrival in Halifax.

  1. Visit the DSU Health Plan Office within one week of your arrival in Halifax
  2. Present your letter of acceptance and invitation to study from your Dalhousie Supervisor
  3. Purchase the DSU Short Term International Health Plan for at MINIMUM your study/research period as indicated in their invitation letter

If a student has their own health insurance they may be able to opt-out of the Dalhousie Plan. To do so, the student must take a copy of their health insurance plan to the DSU Health Plan Office; the DSU will evaluate the plan to ensure that it meets the minimum coverage.

International students are encouraged to contact the Dalhousie International Centre for useful resources. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada requirements for Visiting Graduate Research Students

Many of you are aware of the change Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is requiring of international scholars, postdocs and Visiting Graduate Research Students (VSGS/R), but some of you may not have been included or may not have realized VSGS/R students are also impacted.

Immigration changes will affect VSGS/R, Postdocs, Visiting Professors, NAFTA Professionals and others.

CIC recently announced changes to the International Mobility Program (IMP) that took effect on February 21, 2015. Groups that are impacted at Dalhousie include VSGS/R Postdoctoral Fellows, NAFTA Professionals, Visiting Professors and Clinical Fellows.

Changes to the IMP will affect foreign nationals who are applying for a work permit (or renewing/extending an existing work permit) that will be specific to Dalhousie University and that is exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

CIC now requires that Dalhousie complete an application/form [PDF - 130kb] and pay an employer compliance fee ($230) before inviting these LMIA-exempt foreign nationals to the university (or before an existing foreign worker applies to renew/extend their permit).

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The Immigration & Refugee Protection Act requires that any person providing advice to foreign nationals regarding immigration requirements or processes must be a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), or a member in good standing with a provincial law society. This means that without this accreditation, department administrative staff or faculty members are prohibited by law from providing any immigration-related advice or representation to foreign nationals.

If you are intending to invite an international visiting graduate student to carry out research at Dalhousie, please contact International Centre at international.centre@dal.ca or 902-494-1566 in advance to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

Am I a Self‐funded Researcher?

Self‐funded Researchers (aka Business Visitors) conduct research purely for their own projects and use the universities facilities but are in no way contributing to research projects within the university or receiving any official funding/scholarship/academic grant  from any sources, but maintains a salary/income paid by their home institution/business.

Foreign students doing research in Canada for their diploma/thesis at their home university must meet the definition in order to be classified as a "self‐funded researcher."

Any scholarship, bursary, award, remuneration or reimbursements made to the foreign student by any party (i.e the visiting institution).  Will mostly likely deem them to be not within this category.

A Self‐funded Researcher must meet all conditions listed in order to be work permit exempt:

  • Visit is 6 months or less (no possibility of extension)
  • Must have return position to go back to (i.e., source of employment income outside of Canada, or return to their home institution)
  • Not planning to enter Canadian labour market, even after arrival (i.e., main source of continued remuneration outside of Canada)
  • Purpose to advance international business with Canadian source
  • There must not be an employer‐employee relationship between the academic institution and the visitor must not receive remuneration or reimbursement for the research (collaborative or otherwise).

Please note, even though incoming visitor may meet the above criteria, he/she may be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (also known as an entry visa). This will be dependent on the visitors country of citizenship.

We do require all Visiting Research Students’ Supervisors to complete the CIC information form [PDF - 130kb].