Contact ISVS

We are available to help you virtually and in person

International Student and Visitor Services (ISVS) provides services, events, and programs for U of A international students and academic visitors.

Our team of licensed immigration consultants and student advisors work with students on support for:

  • study permits, work permits and visas
  • emergency funding
  • health care insurance
  • information for SIN and income tax

We also offer support and strategies for coping with:

  • adjusting to a new culture
  • building a community of friends
  • intercultural communication

The International Services Centre offers advising in-person and through virtual platforms listed below. 

In-person drop-in advising

If you are in Edmonton, visit the International Services Centre (142 Telus Centre) to speak with an International Student Specialist during drop-in advising hours (from September 1 onwards, drop-in advising hours are 10:30 am - 12:00 pm (except for Wednesday) and 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Monday-Friday).

Virtual advising via I-Advise booking system

If you are unable to meet with an International Student Specialist in-person, please use the I-Advise booking system to set up a 10 minute virtual appointment. Virtual advising is available from 8:30 am - 10:30 am MST (Monday - Friday). 

 Submitting an inquiry via the Student Service Portal 

For any non- urgent matters, please submit an inquiry via the new Student Service Portal.

Note: the service portal is not monitored over weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and University holiday closure times.

Who should you contact?

We understand you may have a pressing concern and require assistance, so connecting with the appropriate person is important. We request that you do not send the same inquiry to multiple offices on campus separately, as it duplicates the work and takes away from time that can be utilized to assist students.

The first step to connecting to the right person is to connect with one of our International Student Advisors. Our team can guide you to the appropriate people or resources.


The International Student & Visitor Services Team

Connecting with the advisors during your first few months at the University of Alberta will build your relationship and provide you with helpful information. All ISVS team members have international experience and are eager to help you address any issues you may encounter.

Kumarie Achaibar-Morrison

Director, International Student and Visitor Services

About Kumarie
As my name might suggest, I come from somewhere else; in fact, I came to Alberta almost 30 years ago as an international student from Trinidad and Tobago. So, I truly understand what it is like to feel homesick, not have enough money, to work three jobs while maintaining a high GPA. I know what it is like to graduate with success, volunteer, parent, and negotiate the milieu of Canadian life. I have a certificate in Management Studies from Grant MacEwan College, a BA (Hons.) in Political Science from the University of Alberta, and certificates in Intercultural Communications from the Intercultural Communication Institute, in Portland, Oregon. Over the past 16 years, I built sound knowledge and skills in developing programs and teaching courses in intercultural communication education and human resources development and international student programs and advising.

Gretchen Dubois-Phillips

Associate Director, Visiting Programs

About Gretchen
To contact Gretchen, please email

Lubna Ahmad

International Student Specialist and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)

About Lubna

Lubna Ahmad grew up in Scotland and has spent her adult life as a teacher and educator in Canada and the United Arab Emirates for over 20 years. She is fluent in English and Arabic. Through her Master of Education studies at the University of Alberta, Lubna realized her passion for working and helping international students. She achieved this in her current position after completing her degree in 2009. Lubna's goal is to build lasting relationships and trust with all students she meets.

Lubna's Tip: Don't isolate yourself and think you have to solve your problems on your own. Start building your support system and network by making new friends and building professional relationships with your teachers and advisors, especially at the International Services Centre. Know that we are here to support you, help you navigate your academic environment, and guide you to the university's relevant resources.

Xiaobing Lin

International Student Specialist and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA)

About Xiaobing

Xiaobing was born and raised in China. She worked as an Assistant Professor of English in two Chinese universities for 12 years before studying and working at UAlberta. She brings rich experiences to her current work as an international student advisor. Her own experience as an international student gives her a full appreciation of international students' excitement and challenges. Her patient, passionate and deeply caring temperament will make each of your visits a pleasant one.

Xiaobing's Tip: Be proactive, be confident, and always be ready to move beyond your comfort zone to benefit from your cross-cultural experience in Canada fully. Drop by to ask us any questions; we are here for you

Caroline Lawson

International Student Specialist and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA)

About Caroline

Caroline has worked with students in International Education for over ten years. She studied abroad as a graduate student in the UK and loves working with students.

Caroline's Tip: Get involved as much as possible. It can be really overwhelming in a new country, city and school, but the more you get involved and meet other international and domestic students, the easier your transition will be. Access all of the services that are available to you. From the Student Success Centre to Campus Recreation, make the most of the available services to help you succeed at UAlberta!

Wei (David) Liu

International Collaborative Programs Administrator

About Wei (David)
To contact Wei, please email

Hesam Hassan Nejad


International Student Specialist

About Hesam
Meet International Student Specialist, Hesam Nejad. Originally from Iran, after completing his Phd in Engineering at Memorial University Hesam leaped into the world of student services with the Graduate Students’ Union at Memorial University, so ask him about moving across Canada and living in winter climes. Hesam says," I realized my true passion is for working with international students and in international education. Since then, I have changed my entire career to become an RCIC and student advisor." Hesam brings to us his expertise in teaching, his experiences navigating the world of graduate studies, and his passion for working with international students. He is fluent in Farsi and is conversant in Arabic.

Ravneet Panech

International Student Specialist and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)

About Ravneet

Ravneet was born and raised in India. She has been working in the immigration field since 2012 and she loves assisting international students and their families. Her personal experience of moving to Canada, along with her professional expertise, allows her to understand student issues from a closer perspective. She is always ready to go the extra mile to make the student experience a positive one.

Ravneet's Tip: Don’t hesitate to ask questions and utilize all the amazing resources offered at the University of Alberta. Our team is here to help, so please do not hesitate to reach out to ask for any assistance. If there is anything we can do to support you, please let us know.

Gavin Palmer

International Student Engagement Programs Coordinator

About Gavin

Gavin has a Master's degree in Intercultural and International Communication and is a self-proclaimed student of perspective. He lived, worked and travelled for ten years in Asia and has a background in education and international tourism. Gavin enjoys camping, reading and spending time with his family; He also enjoys finding new unique craft beers and drinking them with interesting company.

Gavin's Tip: People act and react according to their own cultural value sets, values that are perceived as positive. When others' actions and/or reactions do not align with your expectations or seem to conflict with your values or priorities, the presumption of goodwill and open communication can often diffuse what can sometimes be a frustrating situation.

If you want to participate in one of our student activities or have an idea, suggestion or question, please feel free to contact me; maybe we can share perspectives.

Email Gavin for settlement and orientation information.

Heather Seyl Miyashita

Academic Programs Coordinator

About Heather
To contact Heather, please send email at