The information below provides a brief summary of Canadian immigration processes. Please note that it is your responsibility to obtain up-to-date immigration information and advice for your individual situation. Comprehensive immigration information can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, the government agency body that deals with immigration in Canada.
Immigration requirements for you and accompanying family members to enter Canada will depend on the type of appointment you have been offered and your citizenship. Your department will work within the administration to obtain permission to offer you employment in Canada.
You are then responsible for obtaining a Work Permit in order to accept employment by applying at the nearest Canadian visa office (to your country of citizenship or residence) or online via the IRCC website. Children in elementary or secondary school do not require a study permit before entering Canada. Residents of some countries are also required to obtain Temporary Resident Visas and or Electronic Travel Authorizations. You are responsible for all fees associated with all government immigration applications.
New Faculty and staff with questions about obtaining their Work Permits or Permanent Resident status may contact Housing & Relocation Services for in-person support from a regulated immigration consultant.
Temporary Residency (through Work Permit, Student Permit or Visitor Status)
Once all the relevant documents are in place, you will be able to travel to Canada and meet with a Canadian Border Services Officer who will ask you some questions, and then staple the necessary (conditional) permits into your passport(s). Each eligible family member can then work or study legally in Canada. If you have children traveling with you, ensure they receive a stamp in their passport or a visitor record.
Renewing your work permit is a simple process that can be done online via the IRCC website from within Canada, well in advance of the expiry date. If you are a temporary resident visa holder, you need to keep this valid if you want to travel to other countries and return to Canada.
You can apply for a Permanent Residency (landed immigrant) status if you have an ongoing appointment at UBC. Common ways of doing this include:
BC Provincial Nominee Program: Faculty Relations supports tenure stream faculty when your academic unit ‘nominates’ you to stay and work in Canada. Recent graduates of a Canadian institution can also use this program.
Express Entry: Express Entry is a points based application system that is used to apply for Permanent Residency through different program streams. UBC faculty members usually choose one of the following programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker: You apply and the decision is made based on your education, work experience and other set criteria.
- Canadian Experience Class: You can apply if you have one year recent Canadian work experience.
As a Permanent Resident, you are entitled to sponsor parents and grandparents to join you in Canada.
Faculty and Staff living in Canada and working at UBC may obtain support for their immigration questions and the processes above through the Housing & Relocation Services.
You can apply for Citizenship after being present in Canada as a Permanent Resident for a specified amount of time.
See Application for Canadian Citizenship on the IRCC website.
Basic Immigration Steps for Foreign Nationals
1. Your Hiring Department provides you with an offer of employment / appointment which you accept and sign.
2. Your Hiring Department will ask you for various documents and these will be submitted to UBC Human Resources to begin the immigration process for your employment.
3. There are normally two ways in which UBC can offer you employment via a temporary work permit:
- through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
- under a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption
UBC Faculty Relations works with your department internally to arrange for all LMIAs and LMIA exemptions and the results will be reported back to you.
4. Once the LMIA is approved or eligibility for an LMIA exemption is confirmed, you will need to apply for a work permit, and possibly a temporary resident visa before being permitted to work.
Apply for a Work Permit: It is your responsibility to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to apply for your work permit and any required visas or medical examinations.
Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if necessary: Only citizens of certain countries need a TRV or eTA – see Find Out if you Need a Visa on the IRCC website.
5. Begin arrangements for your move to Canada.
6. You will receive a letter or email from IRCC once the work permit has been granted. Your work permit will be issued at the border upon your arrival in Canada, so be sure to have your documentation available for inspection:
- Letter of offer of employment from UBC
- Temporary resident visa (if applicable)
- Travel documents (airline tickets, etc.)
- Any family documentation (marriage, birth certificates)
Need More Help?
Call us or complete the consultation form and include any questions you have about immigration. From there a UBC Regulated Immigration Consultant will contact you to answer your questions.