Faculty members employed at UBC on a work permit are required to renew their work permits prior to the expiry of their current work permit if their appointment is to continue beyond the expiry of their current work permit.
Two system-generated reminder letters are sent to Faculty members, four months and one month in advance of the expiry of a work permit if a new work permit has not yet been received. The letter is sent to faculty members reminding them of their work permit expiry date. A copy of this letter is also sent to the faculty member’s department/school. Upon receipt of the reminder, the faculty member must work with their academic unit to arrange the renewal of their work permit. It is important to start this process as early as possible since the process can be lengthy thus delaying the arrival of a work permit which has implications for medical coverage and a faculty member’s ability to travel outside of Canada. The steps involved in renewing a work permit are found below.
- Renewal of Work Permits for Foreign Academics
- Renewal of Work Permits for Visitors and Postdoctoral Fellows
- Implied Status
- Work Permit Renewals and MSP Coverage
Renewal of Work Permits for Foreign Academics
1. Faculty member contacts their department/school. In the case of individuals with term positions, a determination will need to be made as to whether or not he/she will be reappointed at the same rank.
2. Department administrator completes a Request for Renewal of Work Permit form and forwards to Faculty Relations along with a copy of the faculty member’s current cv.
3. Faculty Relations (UBCV)/Human Resources (UBCO) completes the necessary paperwork to request a new Labour Market Opinion (LMO) if applicable. Please note: Service Canada requires that term positions held by foreign academics must be re-advertised and a new LMO must be requested (the LMO must be requested within 3 months of the closing date of the ad). Please refer to the Recruitment of Foreign Academics page for further information. This requirement does not apply to tenure or tenure-track positions. If the work permit was obtained under a LMO exemption Faculty Relations/Human Resources will provide guidance on how to proceed. The only exceptions to the LMO requirement are as follows:
a) NAFTA: For a faculty member who has entered Canada under the NAFTA exemption, Faculty Relations will send information to the member on how to renew under the terms of NAFTA. The department will also need to produce a letter reconfirming the faculty member’s appointment at UBC (skip to step 6).
b) Research Award Recipients: Research award recipients (e.g. CRCs or LEEF Chairs) who entered on Research Award exemption can renew their work permits as long as they continue to hold their research award. Faculty Relations will send information to the member on how to renew their work permit. The department will also need to produce a letter reconfirming the faculty member’s appointment at UBC (skip to step 6).
c) Provincial Nominee Program: In the case of PNP applicants who will not receive their permanent residency prior to the expiry of their current work permit, they should contact the PNP office directly to arrange for a letter from the PNP office to be used for renewal the work permit (skip to step 6).
4. Faculty Relations (UBCV)/Human Resources (UBCO) sends the LMO renewal request to Service Canada. Note that it can take several weeks for Service Canada to process the request.
5. Service Canada will issue a Labour Market Opinion; if the application is successful Faculty Relations will email the LMO to the faculty member as soon as it is received.
6. Upon receipt of the necessary document/instructions from Faculty Relations/Human Resources the faculty member completes a request to extend their work permit and submits the application to the (CIC) office along with the other documents required by CIC. The faculty member must pay the processing fee (currently $150) prior to submitting their application. CIC processing times vary during the year and individuals are advised to check the CIC website for information on processing times. Please note that the application must be submitted prior to the expiry date of the current work permit; preferably far enough in advance to ensure that the new work permit is received around the expiry date of the current work permit.
Those faculty members who also require a temporary resident visa (TRV) should be aware that should they leave Canada they will need to apply for a another TRV. The application for the TRV is made from outside of Canada.
If applicable, a request to renew an accompanying spouse and/or child’s work or study permit or temporary resident status is made at the same time and on the same application form as the faculty member.
7. Faculty member receives their new work permit. Upon receipt they must immediately apply for a new SIN card.
8. Faculty member provides a copy of the new work permit and the new SIN card to their department/school who will in turn provide a copy to Faculty Relations (UBCV) or Human Resources (UBCO). Permits/Visas for family members who are covered under the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) should be forwarded to the Benefit clerks in Payroll to ensure coverage for both the member and his/her family is continued. Faculty Relations/Human Resources will arrange for the HR/Payroll system to be updated.
If the new work permit does not arrive prior to the expiry of the current one please forward a copy of the CIC fee receipt to Faculty Relations (UBCV) or Human Resources (UBCO). As long as the faculty member has applied for their new work permit prior to the expiry of their current one they will have implied status (refer to Implied Status section for more details).
Renewal of Work Permits for Visitors and Postdoctoral Fellows
1. Visitor/Postdoctoral Fellows contacts their department/school to make arrangements, if necessary, to continue their stay at UBC. Note that Visitors may only spend a maximum of 2 years at UBC; Postdoctoral Fellows appointments are limited to 5 years, with the Dean’s approval.
2. If the appointment is to be renewed, the department administrator arranges for a new Letter of Invitation to be produced and provides it to the Visitor/Postdoctoral Fellow.
Follow steps 6 to 8 above and refer to the Implied Status section.
Implied Status refers to a foreign worker’s status when they are continuing in the same position, have applied for a new work permit prior to the expiry of their current permit and are awaiting a decision from CIC. It is important to note that should a foreign worker leave Canada while they have implied status their status expires and they will have to re-apply for status. Should a foreign worker be without status the University must cease processing pay to the individual.
If a faculty member has not received their work permit prior to the expiry of the current one they must provide a copy of the fee receipt to Faculty Relations/Human Resources. This provides UBC with the confirmation that the member has implied status, which allows UBC to continue to pay the faculty member.
Implied Status will have an affect on MSP coverage – please refer to the following section for further details.
Work Permit Renewals and MSP Coverage
Medical coverage from MSP expires at the end of the month in which a faculty member’s work permit expires. If the work permit is renewed, coverage will only be reinstated once MSP has received a copy of the new work permit. There are two ways in which MSP will reinstate coverage:
a) If the work permit renewal date is the day immediately following the expiration of the previous work permit or is before the end of the month in which the work permit expires, then there will be no break in MSP coverage. Once Faculty Relations receives the new work permit and forwards to Payroll, coverage will be reinstated retroactive to the work permit renewal date and any medical costs incurred before the new work permit was received, will be reimbursed.
b) If the work permit renewal date is not effective the day immediately following the expiration of the previous work permit and MSP coverage has expired, there are three possible outcomes:
i) MSP coverage will be effective as of the work permit renewal date and will not be reinstated retroactively;
ii) MPS may require the individual to serve another three-month waiting period thus delaying the effective date; or,
iii)MSP coverage will be effective as of the date immediately following the expiration of the previous work permit.
The possible outcomes are decided on a case-by-case basis by MSP.
Please note that it may take as long as 90 days for MSP to process the reinstatement of benefits. MSP coverage will normally not be active during this time and so individuals will need to personally pay for any medical expenses incurred while awaiting MSP to update their status. Once the MSP benefit is reinstated, individuals will be reimbursed for any expenses incurred as of the reinstatement date. Further information can be obtained by calling MSP directly at, 604 683-7151. Information may also be obtained from the Benefits Clerks in Payroll.