Social Insurance Number, Taxes & Banking

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number issued by Service Canada. You must apply and obtain a SIN in order to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations do not permit any employer to pay an employee who does not have a Social Insurance Number.

All employees are required by Service Canada to present their SIN card to their employer within three days of starting work. UBC administrators must ensure that they have seen a new faculty member’s SIN card prior to sending appointment paperwork for processing.

Foreign academics who are to receive salary or an honorarium must apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from a Service Canada Centre. It can take up to three weeks for a SIN card to be issued, but when the application is made, Service Canada will issue a receipt of application. This receipt and a copy of the work permit must be supplied to your UBC department administrator who will forward them to Faculty Relations and payroll. It is mandatory that all non-Canadians supply these two pieces of information. UBC appointments cannot be processed without them.

For more information about obtaining a Social Insurance Number, visit the Service Canada website.

Taxation in Canada/BC – Income Tax

While at UBC, any earnings received are considered Canadian income, unless otherwise indicated by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in writing prior to arrival.

Please note that, by law, deductions are taken from your salary for Canada Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI). If you receive fellowship earnings, these will not be deducted for CPP and EI.

In the spring of every year, you will receive T4 and/or T4A slips from UBC Payroll, which you will use to file your tax return. You must ensure your forwarding address is up to date in the event you leave UBC prior to this time.

Please contact a financial advisor or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax and financial information.

You can also access the CRA website for a self-directed online course on Learning About Taxes. According to this website, this online course has been developed to help you understand the fundamentals of the Canadian tax system and to teach you how to file a tax return.

If you have any questions about paying income tax in Canada, please refer to CRA’s information for non-residents or contact the International Tax Services Office (collect calls are accepted):

  • Calling from Canada and the US: 1-800-267-5177
  • Calling from outside Canada and the US: 1-613-952-3741
  • Fax: 1-613-941-2505

If you have questions about taxable benefits related to UBC Housing Programs, see here.

Banking & Credit Cards

There are a number of banking institutions and branches for you to choose from in British Columbia. Several banks are located near campus, including:

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found on campus and throughout Vancouver.

Mortgages in Canada

When buying a home, you may rely on a lender for a mortgage to finance the purchase of your home. If you are using one of the home ownership programs being offered by UBC, you may be restricted by which lenders you can use. Outside of this, you may be able to get a loan with any of the major banks in Vancouver or go through a mortgage broker. See Housing for more information.