All foreign Visiting Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows coming to UBC are required by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to obtain either a Work Permit or a Visitor Visa. Individuals performing work, whether paid or unpaid, will normally be issued a work permit. In the case of unpaid positions it is up to CIC whether a Work Permit or Visitor Visa will be issued.UBC must issue a Letter of Invitation (LOI) for Visiting Faculty, Visiting Scholars or Postdoctoral Fellows, which the individual will use to apply to CIC for the appropriate permit/visa. The LOI must be signed by either the Unit Head/Director or a Faculty Relations officer. Note LOIs may not be used for any other UBC appointments. Refer to the Foreign Academic process for details on immigration for other appointments.
CIC recognizes that opportunities exist for academic exchanges and thus have allowed individuals holding academic appointments abroad to be issued a work permit without obtaining a Labour Market Opinion.
The individual must retain their position abroad. Note that CIC may request confirmation from the home institution that the individual has a position to which they will return.
The following Letter of Invitation templates are for inviting visiting Faculty to UBC:
CIC will issue permits/visas for Visiting Scholars as long as the individual is self-funded and will therefore not be paid by UBC. If UBC wishes to pay the individual the position must be advertised and a Labour Market Opinion obtained.
Note that under UBC policy the maximum length of a visitor appointment is 1 year, but may be renewable for a further year.
Use the LOI for Visiting Scholars. This letter is different from the LOI for unpaid visiting faculty as visiting scholars do not qualify under CIC’s Visiting Professor exemption. The faculty member extending an invitation to a visiting scholar will need to provide details on what the individual will be doing while visiting UBC and must confirm the individual is self-funded.
CIC allows individuals holding a PhD (or near completion of the PhD) to be appointed to time-limited positions for postdoctoral teaching and research. UBC Policy allows individuals to be appointed for up to 3 years within 5 years of obtaining a PhD or 10 years of obtaining a DDS or MD. Note that with the Dean’s approval a postdoc appointment could be extended for a further 2 years.
The following Letter of Invitation templates are for inviting Postdoctoral Fellows to UBC:
It is important to note that the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) will only extend coverage to individuals with a work permit. Individuals who do not receive a work permit are not eligible for MSP coverage and must arrange for their own coverage.
New residents arriving from outside Canada should arrange for private coverage during the waiting period for MSP. Visiting Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows from outside Canada and their dependent(s) may purchase private coverage through the David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) Global Campus Plan for UBC Faculty and Staff.
Appointments of Visiting Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows may be renewed within the allowable limits. If you are considering issuing a renewal letter for a Visitor or Postdoc who does not fit the applicable criteria please contact Faculty Relations. For individuals who fall within the applicable criteria use the letters below to renew:
How far in advance do I need to send the Letter of Invitation?
I’d like to invite an individual but I’m unsure of what letter of invitation to use?
I’m unsure of what rank the individual should hold at UBC?
I’d like to hire a Visiting Scholar and pay him or her. Can I do this?
A foreign visiting faculty member who has already been at UBC for 2 years would like to stay another year. Will this be possible?
The visitor I am inviting will only be at UBC for one month. Should I still issue a letter of invitation? Should I still create an appointment form for this person?
Our visitor has already arrived and only has a visitor visa. Do they still need a work permit?
The individual we want to hire has not yet received his/her PhD. Can he/she be hired as a Postdoctoral Fellow?
If the individual the unit wants to hire is beyond 3 years of being awarded the PhD can he/she be hired as a Postdoctoral Fellow?
The postdoc we want to hire received their PhD over 3 years ago and there are no extenuating circumstances. What do we do?
We want to renew a postdoc who has already held a 3 year postdoc appointment. Can we do this?