Visiting Research Students

Western International is processing VRO student applications under Self-funded Academic Researcher and Short term (120-day) work permit exemption for researcher categories due to travel entry requirements to Canada changes for foreign visitors. With the required documentation, self funded VRO students may apply to enter Canada on a TRV or eTA, if fully vaccinated. The VRO host supervisor is responsible to ensure an appropriate quarantine plan is in place (if required) and that the VRO student has suitable living arrangements while in London. We will continue to process the VRO student applications under the Research Award Recipient category.

There are some important considerations to keep in mind before VRO supervisors commit to hosting and supervising a VRO student. COVID-19 continues to impact travel around the world, and travel restrictions can change at any time. Host supervisors who invite a VRO to Canada and to Western must be prepared to financially support them if their home country doesn’t allow travel once their research is complete. If they are not able to leave Canada, the host supervisor must be ready to support them until they are able to leave the country.

Western's Vaccination Policy and VRO Students

Once VRO students are term-activated on Western's student record system, they will receive a message to their Western email address ( that includes information about Western's vaccine policy and a personalized link to upload their proof of vaccination. Students may email for questions. 

  • Even if students are considered fully vaccinated for entry to Canada, and declared exempt from quarantine, they may be required to obtain additional vaccines upon arrival. This is because the definition of fully vaccinated in Ontario/at Western varies from the definition for entry to Canada. 
  • VRO students who are considered fully vaccinated according to Western’s vaccination policy will need to upload their proof of vaccination as soon as possible. This can be done before arrival in Canada, if appropriate.
  • VRO students who are not fully vaccinated according to Western’s vaccination policy must contact via their Western email address ( to request a temporary exemption to Western's vaccination policy. Students will be required to follow a rapid testing process in order to come to campus. Once they are fully vaccinated, they will need to use the personalized link set to them to upload their proof of vaccination.

For more information, visit our Vaccine FAQ for International Students page.

Every year, Western University welcomes visiting students from around the world to conduct research or take courses.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) generally considers research placements as internships, and thus “work”, whether the research placement is paid or unpaid. For that reason, Visiting Research Students need authorization to work in Canada. This can be facilitated by way of a work permit or visitor status.


For further information about becoming a Visiting Research Only (VRO) student, please visit Western International's Visiting Research Only (VRO) Student website.

If you are interested in visiting Western University for the purpose of taking courses as a visiting student, learn more through the  Office of the Registrar

  Exception for Medical and Health Care Students

  • If you are a health care student arranging a clinical placement or practicum at Western University, please immediately contact the International and Exchange Student Centre  for assistance. Health care students interested in a short-term  clinical placement or practicum may be eligible to enter Canada as Visitors  without a Work Permit.
  • Clinical and Research Fellows (who hold an MD, Doctor of Dental Medicine or equivalent), and medical residents are invited and managed through the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Postgraduate Medical Education Program office.  Please contact 519-661-2019 or for assistance.
  • Information about Clinical Clerks and Visiting Student Electives (Undergraduate Medical Students) is available through the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Undergraduate Medical Education Program office. Please contact 519-661-2076 or for assistance
    • If you are a health care student interested in  research (not a clinical placement), please contact the academic department/faculty member responsible for inviting you to come to Western