Western International

Visiting Research Only (VRO) Students

IMPORTANT: To ensure the health and safety of our campus community and to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19, Western International will not be processing the VRO student applications until further notice.

For updated information on Western University's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), please visit

Western University frequently welcomes and hosts visiting research students from all over the world.

 All prospective Visiting Research Only students coming to Western:

Please note that because tuition and ancillary fees do not apply, VRO students are not eligible for a Western Campus Recreation membership or an LTC bus pass through the USC or SOGS. VRO students interested in these services must contact Western Campus Recreation and the London Transit Commission (LTC) privately.

I am an international student wishing to visit Western University to conduct research

Please explore our research areas of excellence and contact the laboratory or department of interest to you to secure a host supervisor. Please note that Western International does not match prospective Visiting Research Only students with host supervisors.

Information about document requirements and fees can be found below. 

I wish to invite an international undergraduate or graduate student to Western

Please explore this website for important information, resources and forms. If you have questions about this process, contact iesc-immig@uwo.ca

It is recommended that you start this process at least two (2) months prior to the VRO students anticipated start date to allow time for visa processing.  

I would like to invite a postgraduate researcher to Western

Please contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) for postdoctoral fellows, or the Office of Faculty Relations for visiting professors/lecturers and self-funded academic researchers.

Mihaela Harmos, SGPS mharmos@uwo.ca
Jennifer Holburn, Office of Faculty Relations Jennifer.Holburn@uwo.ca
Connie Zrini, Office of Faculty Relations czrini@uwo.ca

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) considers research activities as “work,” and have clarified that visiting international student scholars conducting research must qualify for employment authorization in order to conduct research only on campus, as either a visiting undergraduate student (VUGS) or a visiting graduate student (VGS).  Visiting Research Only (VRO) students no longer qualify for study permits unless they are the recipient of a Global Affairs Canada award or scholarship.

There are two possible employment authorization streams for VRO students:

Self funded researchers Research Award Recipients

1. Self-funded academic researcher (visitor status)      2. Research award recipient (work permit)

Please note that the existence of an exchange or research collaboration agreement is an important factor to consider when inviting a VRO student to campus. Please advise Western International of same prior to preparing the documents required.


If you have questions about Visiting Research Only students, please contact iesc-immig@uwo.ca