VISRIs

Canadian universities have been hosting an increasing number of Visiting International Student Research Interns (VISRIs) who come to the Canadian education institutions at the invitation of a faculty member in Canada to conduct research without enrolling in courses in Canada.  These individuals are often recipients of international scholarships/ funding programs. The International Office has been coordinating a number of these programs in cooperation with faculty units and student services.

These individuals:

  1. Are conducting research work in Canada, which is usually towards fulfilling their degree program requirements at their home university
  2. Are not enrolled in any courses at the UM
  3. May be paid by scholarship programs available through their home country government or the Canadian government
  4. Require an entry visa from Canadian Immigration, usually a work permit

University of Manitoba faculty members who wish to invite a VISRI to the UM are asked to contact the International Office.  Faculty members should pay attention to the following points when inviting a VISRI to the UM:

  1. The faculty member accepts full responsibility for supervision and hosting of the VISRI while at the University of Manitoba
  2. The faculty member cannot provide any advice on Canadian immigration regulations or requirements.  The hosting faculty member should refer the visiting individual to the Canada Immigration web site [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/hire/worker.asp] or to the Canadian consulate/embassy in their region [http://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates]
  3. While the decision regarding the type of required entry visa for VISRIs is the responsibility of the regional Canadian embassy/consulate, VISRIs commonly enter Canada under a work permit.  New regulations regarding Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for foreign workers have recently come into effect.  Universities are exempt from the LMIA, but are required to apply for this exemption for each ‘worker’ (i.e. VISRI) invited to Canada.  The process for applying for the LMIA exemption is outlined in the attached PDF. The process for applying for the LMIA exemption can be explained by the International Office.  Note: Faculty members will be required to pay a $230 compliance fee for submitting this exemption application.  The visa applicant will require the receipt number from this payment in order to complete their application for the entry visa to Canada, which has a separate cost of $155.
  4. VISRIs are not considered students at the University of Manitoba.  As such, supports normally available to international students on campus are not always available.  The faculty member will need to provide advice and assistance for the individual’s settlement and adjustment needs, as well as access to campus facilities (e.g. library, recreation, etc.).