Frequently Asked Questions for Relocating Faculty & Senior Management

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The University of British Columbia’s policy for the relocation of faculty members and senior management staff was revised on June 30, 2016. The current policy is available on the University Counsel’s website.

The following questions and answers provide additional information about how to apply the policy.

Eligibility
Relocation Process
Relocation Allowance Limit
Taxable Benefits
Other Issues

Eligibility

Am I eligible for the relocation expense allowance?

Eligible individuals (“designated professionals” in the policy) are tenure-stream faculty members, prospective tenure-stream faculty members, senior management staff, professional librarians, and Program Director in Continuing Studies.

Your department administrators will advise you in writing (i.e., in the offer letter) that you are eligible to claim these expenses.

Please refer to Eligibility for Relocation Policy for more information on eligibility.

How is “senior management” defined; in other words, which staff positions are eligible under the current relocation policy?

The Associate Vice President level and higher.

Do I need to have a minimum length of employment in order to be eligible under the relocation policy?

Yes. Your position must be a “full-time” position and for a minimum period of 2 years. However, your department must intend to renew your appointment.

For faculty appointments, which include Librarians and Program Director, these positions must on tenure-stream.

Positions that are temporary, visiting, or sessional are not eligible under this policy.

If you voluntarily leave UBC before completing 24 months of paid service, then you must re-pay a pro-rated portion of relocation expenses paid earlier by UBC.

If I am relocating to the UBC Vancouver campus and already reside in Metro Vancouver or relocating to the Okanagan campus and already reside in the Kelowna area, will my moving expenses be covered under the relocation policy?

No. If you already live within 75 km of the workplace, then you aren’t eligible for reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund (the UBC fund that supports the policy).

Is it mandatory that I use the relocation and moving company designated by UBC?

  • If you want to use a moving company and be reimbursed from the Central Relocation Fund, you must use the moving company designated by UBC, Quality Move Management (QMM). If any other moving company is used, then your moving expenses with the other moving company won’t be eligible for reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund.
  • If you choose to relocate without a moving company, then you are still eligible for reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund (the UBC fund that supports the relocation policy).

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Relocation Process

What is the process for obtaining relocation assistance for eligible faculty and senior management?

Please see our Relocation Process page for a step-by-step guide.

How do the relocation expenses get paid?

  • The hiring department initially pays for most relocation expenses using Purchase Orders, Requisition for Payments, or Travel Requisitions.
  • If you pay for some approved expenses first, you should submit invoices/receipts to the hiring department administrator for reimbursement of your expenses.
  • Your hiring department administrator will apply to Financial Operations in Vancouver or Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna for reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund, the UBC fund that supports the relocation policy.

How long will it take to receive reimbursement from UBC’s central Finance department?

Once the hiring department submits the forms (Requisitions for Payments, Travel Requisitions or Relocation Reimbursement Claim forms) with the backup documentation, it may take up to 4-6 weeks to receive reimbursement.

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Relocation Allowance Limit

What is the relocation expense allowance/overall cap?

The allowance varies depending on a few different factors such as from where you are moving and whether you have dependants. Please see the Central Relocation Fund Table.

Effective June 30, 2016, there are new and separate allowances for travel expenses and for tax and financial advising services related to relocation.

Are travel expenses included in the overall limit eligible for reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund?

Yes. For more information on eligible travel and related expenses, please see Policy #83 and Policy #83 Administrative Directive on the University Counsel’s website.

Is the weight of “Tools of the Trade” included in the overall weight limit?

No, the weight of Tools of the Trade isn’t a factor. However, the cost of moving Tools of the Trade is a factor. The cost is included in the overall cap that the Central Relocation Fund reimburses. Please see the Central Relocation Fund Table to calculate overall caps.

Is the cost of moving “Tools of the Trade” included in the overall cap that the Central Relocation Fund reimburses?

Yes.

Is the cost of pre/post move expenses such as a house hunting trip included in the overall limit that the Central Relocation Fund reimburses?

Yes, with limitations. Please see Policy #82 for these limitations.

For house hunting trips, are costs of car rentals or other forms of public transportation (buses and taxis) covered in the overall limit?

Yes, with limitations. Please see Policy #83 and Policy #83 Administrative Directive for these limitations.

Is the cost of duties and taxes on personal goods, including vehicles, included in the overall limit?

No. Only expenses related to relocation and moving are covered by the relocation policy. Expenses regarding ownership of personal goods are not covered by the relocation policy.

Is the cost of to purchase furniture eligible under the relocation policy?

No. Only expenses related to relocation and moving are covered by the relocation policy. Expenses regarding ownership of personal goods are not covered by the relocation policy.

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Taxable Benefits

Are any relocation expenses considered taxable benefits?

Moving expenses are not considered taxable benefits (please see: Canada Revenue Agency).

However, any relocation expenses not listed in the “moving expenses paid by employer that are not a taxable benefit” are considered taxable benefits:

  • Immigration fees include work permit application fees, temporary resident visa fees and permanent resident fees.
  • Tax and financial advising services.
  • UBC Payroll will include any taxable benefits on the T4 slip (the Statement of Remuneration Paid) that the relocating faculty or senior management will submit to the Canadian Revenue Agency when filing their taxes. Please contact the appropriate payroll representative if you have any questions with the T4.

Is the cost of the English language test, which is a requirement to apply for permanent residency, eligible under the relocation policy?

Yes.

The relocation policy states that premiums for healthcare insurance are eligible for reimbursement during the waiting period for coverage with the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). Where can I obtain that initial coverage?

The initial coverage will need to be with a private health insurance company and you should have this coverage in place while waiting for coverage with the BC Medical Services Plan. Please refer to Out-of-Country Private Medical Insurance on the HR Benefits website for more information.

Are premiums for private health care insurance taxable benefits?

No.

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Other Issues

Does the relocation have to be from the location where I was living when I signed the employment offer letter?

No. The relocation can be from the location where you are living at the time of the relocation; however, it must be 75 km outside of work location to be eligible.

Can I use my moving allowance in two parts (e.g., to move myself at one point in time, and then to move the rest of my family at a later time)?

Yes, this is possible, but note that you will only reimbursed for up to the overall limit specified in the Central Relocation Fund Table.

Does the dependant care allowance have to be spent in Canada?

No. If your dependants are living outside of Canada, it can be spent where they are living.

For the dependant care allowance, can this include day camps or sports schools?

Yes, dependant care includes:

  • Eligible child care provider.
  • Day nursery school of day care centre.
  • Day camp or day sports school.
  • Boarding school or camp.
  • Educational institution for the purpose of providing child care services.

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