The International Visiting Graduate Student program (IVGS)

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The University of Toronto welcomes qualified international graduate students to foster the exchange of ideas, receive specialized training and participate in research collaboration.

The International Visiting Graduate Student program (IVGS) allows graduate students enrolled in research-based programs at international universities to undertake some of their research under the supervision of a University of Toronto faculty member. The IVGS study abroad agreement is intended to allow students from any recognized university to come to U of T, even in the absence of a formal exchange agreement.

A brief overview of the IVGS program is provided below. In some cases, it has been necessary to cancel visits when students were not able to secure appropriate travel documents. Please refer to the IVGS section of the School of Graduate Studies website for complete detailed information on the IVGS program, including how to find a suitable supervisor, admissions criteria and procedures, and securing appropriate travel documents.

Note that IVGS students may not enroll in courses for credit but may be allowed to audit classes with permission from their graduate unit and instructor.


IVGS students do not pay tuition but are required to pay the mandatory incidental fees paid by all students and to purchase health coverage through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

For example, the fees for the fall session in 2021 or the winter session in 2022 for a student on the St. George campus break down as follows:

  • $841.61 fall session (September to December) or winter session (January to April)  
  • $55.00 one-time student system access fee 
  • $60.00 per month, University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) fees

Campus fees at the St.. George and Scarborough campuses are comparable. All fees are subject to change.

Fees for the coming academic year usually are confirmed in mid-July. Incidental fees can be found on the Student Accounts and Vice-Provost, Students websites.

We encourage you to begin your visit at the start of an academic session if possible. Beginning at other times will have fee implications.

Usually, there is no financial support available to visiting graduate students. In a small number of cases, an individual supervisor may have discretionary research funding that will allow them to provide some support for a visiting student. Please note that any student receiving a study stipend from a Canadian source will need a social insurance number (SIN). If a SIN is required, you will need a study permit or work permit.


Admissions Procedures

Secure Supervisor and Research Project

  • Students willing to participate in the IVGS program at the University of Toronto are responsible for finding a supervisor working in a research area related to their interest who is willing to supervise them.
  • When approaching a prospective supervisor, the student must ensure that plans for the visit are cleared with the supervisor: what is the scope of the project? How much of it will be accomplished while at the University of Toronto? What support do you need from your supervisor? What University resources will you access?

Admissions Requirements

  • Students need to be registered in a research-based graduate degree program at their home institution (recent graduates or students in diploma/certificate programs are not eligible) for the duration of their study period at the University of Toronto (usually a maximum of 12 months).
  • No transcript or English-language proficiency scores are needed, but the supervisor may wish to review a CV or a proposed research plan.
The UTSC Campus Graduate Administrator is the local support for IVGS Students at UTSC. Contact UTSC Campus Graduate Administrator if you plan to participate in the IVGS program with a faculty member at UTSC.

Steps to Secure Admission into the IVGS Program at UTSC

1) The host supervisor will draft a letter of invitation to the home supervisor.

Consult draft and guidelines on how to write the letter of invitation on our IVGS-faculty webpage.

2) Once complete, the draft letter should be sent to Shelley Eisner, the Campus Graduate Administrator, to review.

3) Once reviewed, the draft letter of offer and the IVGS agreement will be sent to the student for signature. Both the letter of invitation and the IVGS study abroad agreement need to be signed by all parties.

4) Once all documents have been signed, the Graduate Administrator will forward the documentation to the School of Graduate Studies for final approval. If the School of Graduate Studies approves the visit, the student will be issued an official offer of admission to the School of Graduate Studies as a full-time visiting graduate student.

6) When the official letter of admission has been issued, the student should use it along with the invitation letter from the host supervisor to arrange and secure appropriate travel documents.

To ensure that you are applying far enough in advance to your visit, please note that it can take some time to 1) secure the required approvals and signatures on the form and letter, 2) secure travel documents (the process can take up to four months).


If you are coming from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarships provide students and researchers from with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels. Information and application process can be found on the U of T's Inbound Visiting website. It is recommended that to apply for ELAP and the International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS) program at the same time.

Local Support at UTSC

Arrival, Registration and Fee Payment

  • When you arrive at UTSC, please contact the Campus Graduate Administrator, Shelley Eisner,  to arrange a time to confirm your registration. We will assist you with the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) form for your health insurance during your stay.
  • Twenty-four to thirty-six hours after you register, you can go to the UTSC TCard office on the main floor of Highland Hall in the Registrar's Office, where you will obtain your TCard or student card.  The TCard will provide you with access to ACORN  which is the online system for students at the University of Toronto. Information on how to obtain a TCard and what documentation to bring can be found on the UTSC Office of the Registrar's website.
  • As soon as possible after arrival, you should become familiar with ACORN. Through this system, you will be able to update your contact information, if and when it changes. Please remember that it is essential to maintain your current mailing address and contact information on ACORN because this is how the University will communicate with you regarding important matters during your stay. ACORN also will allow you to view your fee invoice. Visit the Student Accounts website for fee payment information.


  • It is your responsibility to secure accommodation for your stay at UTSC.
  • Please visit the Housing Opportunities webpage for summer residence available at UTSC as well as Off-campus Housing listing options.

Support to International Students

If you have any questions, before or after your arrival at UTSC, please do not hesitate to contact the Campus Graduate Administrator.

Additional Information