International Students

This section only applies to students who will be living in Canada during the course of their studies. MDiv by Extension and distance education students are exempt from these requirements.


Applicants who do not have Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status in Canada will require certain documentation before beginning a program of study in Canada. These documents must normally be obtained from a Canadian consular office outside Canada. Students should contact the Canadian Embassy or Consulate nearest their residence about admission to Canada. This contact should be made as early as possible. Other sources of information are: Citizenship and Immigration in Vancouver 1-888-242-2100 (within Canada) or (604) 666-2171, or at

Financial Independence

All students from outside Canada must give evidence at the Canadian border that they have been admitted to the School as students, and that they have adequate means of financial support apart from employment while they are in Canada.


Full-time students from outside Canada may accept on-campus employment, though not more than 12 hours per week is recommended. Spouses must have authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada if they wish to seek employment. Contact your nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate or Citizenship and Immigration, or VST’s Registrar’s Office by phone at (604) 822-9563 or By Email.


A regulation of Canada Customs states that household goods and motor vehicles are subject to customs control while a student is studying in Canada. This may necessitate the payment of a refundable deposit. Students applying for student visas should make additional inquiries to Canada Customs.

Medical Insurance

International students may apply for medical insurance under the BC Medical Services Plan as soon as they arrive in British Columbia. They will need to provide copies of their admissions and visa documents. Medical coverage will begin 3 months from the date of arrival in B.C. as long as students apply as soon as they arrive. International students should arrange for private medical insurance for travelers for the first three months of their stay in B.C. For a Medical Services Plan application, contact the BC Medical Services Plan at office at (604) 683-7151 and press 0 to speak to a service representative or visit them on-line at

Applicants from the United States

U.S. citizens will require student authorization and a visa if they plan to take up residence in Canada. Students who do not intend to change their residence will require student authorization only. See the Financial Aid section of this site for information regarding US Guaranteed Student Loans.

For information on housing options, please see our Student Housing section.

To view various sample budgets which include living and eating expenses, please see our Fees and Expenses section.