Foreign Clinical Fellows are required to obtain a temporary work permit in order to be employed and perform work for UBC. The steps outlined below provide details on obtaining a temporary work permit and Social Insurance Number (SIN). The steps are broken down into the following sections:
1. Once the clinical fellow has been offered a position at UBC, their Department or School will start the immigration process, and will also commence the preliminary steps to arrange for temporary registration from the BC College of Physicians & Surgeons
Prior to arriving in Canada foreign clinical fellows are advised to familiarize themselves with UBC and the benefits and amenities of the campus and surrounding area. The following websites provide helpful information:
2. Once the necessary immigration documentation from CIC (if applicable) and the College of Physicians & Surgeons has been obtained the department/school will forward these to the clinical fellow so they can proceed with the next steps:
Medical Examination: CIC requires individuals who will be working in the health sciences field to undergo a medical examination prior to the issuance of a work permit. Please refer to the CIC’s website for a list of designated health practitioners. Note the medical examination must be completed before entry into Canada.
Work Permit: The clinical fellow must apply for a temporary work permit from a Canadian Immigration Office. Details on how and where to apply are found on the CIC website. The application must clearly identified UBC as the employer. In the case of joint appointments with a hospital/agency both employers must be clearly identified on the application. The temporary work permit currently costs $150 CDN and depending on the immigration office, it may take several days or several weeks to process the application. Individuals are advised to review the website of their local Canadian Immigration Office to ascertain processing times and required documentation.
It is important to note that if a clinical fellow will hold an unpaid appointment at UBC an application for a work permit must still be made. Please note that a work permit of at least 6 months duration is required in order to be eligible for medical coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan. Additionally a work permit for one year’s duration is required for coverage of school fees of school aged children. Please refer to our Things to Know Before You Arrive page for further information on this and other related matters.
Temporary Resident Visa: In addition to the temporary work permit, citizens of some countries & territories will also require a temporary resident visa (TRV). If a TRV is required, it is not necessary to make a separate application; the immigration officer will issue the TRV at the same time as the approval for a work permit. A list of countries and territories whose citizens need a TRV can be found on the CIC website. If you are planning to travel outside of Canada while at UBC, please ensure that you notify CIC at the time of application to ensure that, if eligible, a multiple entry visa is obtained.
For more information on working in Canada, please refer to Working Temporarily in Canada. If the temporary work permit is approved, the Canadian Immigration Office will issue a letter approving the issuance of a work permit (the temporary work permit is actually issued at the Canadian port of entry – see next step). The clinical fellow can now finalize their travel and moving arrangements. At the Canadian port of entry, the immigration officer issues the work permit, which allows the new clinical fellow to work at UBC on a temporary basis.
3. Upon entry into Canada the new clinical fellow should have the following documents ready for the immigration official to assist the immigration officer in issuing a temporary work permit:
a) Letter of approval from the CIC Office
b) The offer letter from the academic unit
c) Letter from the BC College of Physicians & Surgeons
e) Temporary resident visa(s) (if applicable)
f) Travel documents (i.e. airline tickets)
g) Marriage certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union (for accompanying spouse/partner)
h) Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)
4. A temporary work permit will normally be issued for the dates outlined in the letter of offer. However, there are other factors, such as passport expiry date, which the immigration officer will take into consideration when issuing a work permit. It is important that the work permit be specific to UBC.
Spouses and accompanying children: If applicable, a spousal work permit and/or visitor records and/or study permits for accompanying dependent children will be issued at the same time. It is important for accompanying family to have the necessary documentation from CIC as this has an impact on benefits coverage.
5. After arrival, the new clinical fellow must apply in person for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at an HRSDC office. Upon receipt of the SIN card, a copy of this and the temporary work permit must be supplied to Faculty Relations. In the event that the SIN card is not issued prior to the employment start date, a copy of the SIN application receipt will suffice in the interim. Please note that SINs are valid for the duration of the temporary work permit.
Please note that you are not allowed to begin working until the effective date of your work permit; for example, if you were hired effective July 1 but your work permit is not effective until August 15, your start date will now be August 15th.
6. Upon receipt of the SIN card, the clinical fellow must provide a copy of the SIN card to their administrator who will in turn supply a copy to Faculty Relations.
Should a Clinical Fellow appointment be extended for another term the department/school will prepare the necessary letter that will be submitted to CIC with the application to extended the work permit. Please refer to steps 6 through 8 on our Renewal of Work Permits page for further information.
For further information, please contact faculty relations.