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Hosting International Visiting Researchers

If you are a faculty member who would like to host an international visiting researcher, please follow the instructions below!

For further information, please contact

Please direct your visiting researcher to the following page for more information:

Legal Authorization

Any foreign national who is not a permanent resident or citizen of Canada is required to have valid legal authorization in accordance with Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act”), external link, opens in new window and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations”), external link, opens in new window to perform work at Ryerson University. It is important to note that under the Regulations, work is defined broadly to include activities for which there may or may not be remuneration, and which would compete directly with the interests of Canadian citizens and permanent residence, (e.g. an unpaid internship that allows for valuable experience). For that reason, from an immigration law perspective, activities which one may not realize would be considered “work” based on the fact that there is no compensation involved, may in fact fall within the definition of work. In order to engage in such activities without being in breach of the Act and the Regulations, which could have serious consequences, both for the foreign national and the University, HR must be consulted prior to any engagement of a foreign national whether for a remunerated or non-remunerated position.                           

With some exceptions, legal authorization means having a valid work permit. In addition, in order to seek entry into Canada individuals may require a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), external link, opens in new window. For foreign nationals to obtain legal authorization, the employer must first receive authorization from the government to appoint the individual.

Foreign Researchers at Ryerson University

Research at Ryerson University is practical and aspirational. Our researchers shape their questions around real-world problems, and often work together across disciplinary boundaries to find innovative solutions. To learn more about research at Ryerson, please visit the Research and Innovation site

Foreign researchers generally come under one of the following immigration programs. Please note that this information is subject to change at any time due to changes in government regulations and/or University policies and procedures. Please also note that appointments under the categories below will also be subject to local procedures at the Faculty/Division level, collective agreements, policies and the law.

Your visiting researcher must fit into one of the following categories:

A scholar or professor who is affiliated with an accredited academic or research institution, including professors who are on sabbatical and engaged in collaborative research with Ryerson, may be invited, by a Ryerson University faculty member acting as a host supervisor, to carry out research at Ryerson. The individual must be established as an expert in an area of research, scholarship or creative activity relevant to Ryerson University and must retain their position abroad during the effective period of the appointment, which can be no more than two academic years in duration.

Foreign nationals who have completed their PhD within 3-5 years or can demonstrate that they expect to do so shortly and begin working in a field related to that which they have earned or are earning their PhD, may be appointed as post-doctoral fellows at Ryerson University to carry out teaching and/or research work for a defined period of time. It is work designed to obtain the highest expertise possible in a particular discipline, and candidates are chosen on the basis of academic excellence. Post-doctoral fellows can either be the direct recipients of an award or be offered compensation for the work performed. Further information can be found on the Ryerson HR Postdoctoral Fellow page.

Individuals in receipt of a research award involving research work and remuneration offered either by a Canadian academic institution or the individual’s own country or institution, may be invited by a Ryerson University faculty member acting as a host supervisor, to conduct research at Ryerson. The individual must meet a number of conditions, including providing evidence that:

  • through a competitive assessment and review process and based on merit and academic excellence, they are the direct recipient of the award involving work and remuneration
  • they hold an official position or an affiliation or registration with a credible academic or educational institution or agency in their country of citizenship or residence
  • they have academic excellence and expertise in a field related to the particular work to be undertaken, will be able to actively contribute to and benefit the research project and will have a significant role to play or value to add to the research project. The position offered to them must reflect the experience and expertise they bring.

For more information, please visit IRCC, external link, opens in new window.

A foreign national outside of Canada, who is able to demonstrate academic excellence or expertise in a field related to the particular work to be undertaken and who has a significant role to play in or value to add to a research project may be invited by a Ryerson University faculty member to conduct research for a maximum of 120 consecutive calendar days, provided that the research work offered reflects their experience and expertise and the role they will play in the project. The 120-day work permit exemption is permitted only once within a 12-month period. 

For up-to-date information, please visit IRCC, external link, opens in new window.

An international visiting student is an individual conducting research at Ryerson University under the supervision of a Ryerson faculty member. 

In addition to meeting the conditions of at least one of the above noted immigration categories, students must meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  • be enrolled in a full-time, undergraduate, master’s or doctoral  program at a your university in Canada or abroad home institution
  • be in good academic standing
  • have a letter of support from their home academic unit supporting their research visit and proof of enrollment at the home institution
  • have confirmation from both a supporting supervisor from their home institution and a Ryerson faculty member interested in hosting them
  • be proficient in English (both written and verbal)
  • be able to obtain required legal authorization to enter and remain in Canada (including a work permit, if required)

Obligations of Faculty Hosts

Faculty hosts are bound by the following responsibilities and obligations as part of the arrangement to host international researchers: 

  • Agreeing to supervise and take responsibility for an international visiting researcher during the full period of the visitor’s stay
  • Being prepared to work with the researcher, Human Resources, and the respective Research Administrative Support Officer, and any other relevant office/individuals to support the development and signature of necessary documentation, taking into consideration research activity-related policies and procedures such as terms for research granting agencies, intellectual property, and research ethics approval as appropriate
  • Ensuring compliance at all times with the University’s policies on Ownership of Student Work in Research and policies on Research Ethics involving subjects and animals
  • Arranging for orientations to labs and facilities and providing workplace safety training, including mandatory online EHS training for all research students
  • Sending timely notification to of any changes to the conditions of the visiting researcher’s stay on campus (funding, research project, time period, etc)

Visiting researchers conducting original research that involves exposure to certain hazards, equipment or agents are required to complete a Preliminary Risk Assessment.

Visiting researchers will need access to basic research services (e.g., library, email access, labs and work space). The Ryerson faculty host/supervisor is responsible for arranging  access for the visitor to relevant University facilities; this includes completing the request form for the OneCard, opens in new window and library access. 

For a Ryerson User ID and Password to access computers and email accounts, a request is to be made for a guest account, which can be found in the, opens in new window account under “Guest and Generic Accounts.”

Ryerson International/Human Resources will provide visiting researchers with a PDF fileForeign Researchers Pre-Arrival Manual to assist them in making arrangements prior to their arrival in Toronto. Ryerson International will also arrange orientation sessions for international visiting research students and for international visiting scholars/professors.  A date and time for the session will be provided upon arrival.

Please note that Visiting Research Scholars/Professors who will receive funding directly from Ryerson are considered research staff and are processed by HR. You will be financially responsible for the benefits and vacation pay incurred, and the visitor will receive pay net of statutory Canadian payroll deductions. 

If you wish to support your visiting researcher through a research grant, you will need to first ensure that it will be an eligible expense under your grant. Note that many granting agencies employ very restrictive terms and conditions on their funding.

For funding by the Tri-Council Agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR), please refer to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, external link, opens in new window. If you require assistance in determining expense eligibility, please consult with your Research Grant Officer as appropriate. Researchers receiving financial support from the University must obtain a Canadian temporary work permit and Social Insurance Number (SIN) to facilitate the payment of the funds by the University.

Process for Faculty Hosts

In order to assess the viability of the expected appointment, Human Resources requires information from the Ryerson faculty member who expects to act as a host supervisor to the foreign researcher. Approvals, in accordance with procedures and expectations established at the Faculty/Division level are also required before a request can be processed. In recognition of the fact that in many cases the Ryerson faculty member may not have all of the pertinent details, a separate form has been created, which the faculty host may direct the visiting researcher to complete. Please note, that all submissions will be reviewed in order to ensure that the appointment is in compliance with the law and University policies and collective agreements and any necessary modifications to the appointment will be communicated to the faculty host.

Steps for the Faculty Host

If you are a Ryerson faculty member who would like to host an international visiting researcher, please review and follow the steps outlined below.

Determine suitability of the foreign researcher and the effective dates:

  1. Review any local standards and/or guidelines at the Department and/or Faculty level in order to ensure that the foreign individual will satisfy the requirements.
    1. Are you a TRSM faculty host? Please review the Visiting Scholars at TRSM page for further information.
  2. Review the information on Foreign Researchers at Ryerson University to ensure that the individual you wish to invite will meet the conditions of the category you are considering inviting them under.
  3. Review processing times, which vary depending on type of appointment and the foreign individual's country of citizenship.

Visa requirements, external link, opens in new window are dependent on your visitor’s country of citizenship: individuals from visa exempt countries may travel with an electronic travel authorization, while visa-required countries will need additional time to apply for a visa.

Review processing times, external link, opens in new window for work permits and visas based on your visitor’s country of citizenship.

Should you have any questions about the above, you may contact us at

Complete the Host Form linked below and submit. You will receive a copy of the completed form by email. If you are having technical difficulties, and have not received a copy of the form, please email and request a copy.

Note: the Request to Host an International Visiting Researcher Form has recently changed. Please ensure that you use the updated version linked below.

Submit the copy of the completed Host Form to your Chair/Director and Dean and obtain approvals. Approvals can be provided via signatures on the form or confirmation by email to

Send either an email confirmation of the approvals or a signed copy of the form to the above account and indicate in the subject line the following: Approval for [Insert name of the visiting researcher].

Note: If changes are required on the form to any of the terms and conditions of the appointment you initially completed, you may either make the change directly on the form with your initial next to it, or you may indicate the changes in your email to us at the time of submitting the signed Host Form.

Request your visitor to complete an application form and to upload the required documentation along with their application.

Once HR has received the completed Host Form and a completed google formVisiting Research Application Form, external link, opens in new window with the required documentation from the visitor, the request will be processed under the appropriate immigration program.

When determining the start and end dates of the visit please be sure to take into consideration internal processing times, external link, opens in new window and visa/work permit processing times that range depending on the visitor's nationality and location of the visa office.

For further information, please contact