Travel & Immigration

This page has information and FAQ for managers and supervisors related to travel and immigration during this time.

UBC Financial Operations has developed a travel guide with a summary of key travel guidance, as well as support services and processes to identify, assess and control travel risk, including risks associated with COVID-19.


The specific circumstances that may arise in your unit or department are contextual and may not be captured within these FAQs. Please contact your HR Advisor or Faculty Relations Senior Manager with further questions. Last updated April 23, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Are there any travel restrictions in place at this time relating to COVID-19?  Where can advise my faculty and staff to find more information on travel health advisories and healthy travel?

Faculty and staff should check for any travel health advisories at in advance of travelling. UBC also works with a service provider, International SOS (iSOS), to advise and support travelling students, faculty, and staff.

If you have concerns about travelling, or require more information, visit the UBC Travel Safety page.

Who do faculty and staff call or refer to for questions about their extended health plan coverage if they plan to travel?

Faculty and staff enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan can find information on the out-of-province/Canada through various channels:

  • Sun Life’s Customer Care Centre are able to answer questions by dialing 1-800-361-6212;
  • Sun Life’s plan member website;
  • UBC Benefits: Emergency Medical Coverage; or
  • Refer to appropriate benefits booklet based on their employment group.

UBC’s group number is 25205 and the certificate / member is the employee’s 7-digit employee ID.

Who should my faculty or staff contact if they are already travelling and have become ill?

If you are enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan and require emergency medical assistance (business or personal travel), contact Sun Life’s Out-of-Country emergency assistance provider, Allianz Global Assistance. For instructions, please visit UBC’s emergency medical coverage page.

If you are travelling and require emotional support for yourself and/or your dependents, UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) plan members and their dependents can contact Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765. UBC also works with iSOS to advise and support travelling students, faculty, and staff.

If you have concerns about travelling, or require more information, visit the UBC Travel Safety page.

An employee was on vacation and traveling, and has become ill. What happens to their vacation time?

Whether the time should be treated as vacation or leave for medical reasons is both contextual and related to their terms and conditions of employment. Please contact your HR Advisor or Faculty Relations Senior Manager for guidance.

My employee has advised me that they are planning to travel outside of Canada in the forseeable future, or that they have just returned from outside of Canada. What should I advise them?

Since the Provincial Medical Officer has required all British Columbians to self-isolate after returning from a trip outside of Canada, you must advise your employee to remain self-isolated for 14 days following their return. If your employee is asymptomatic and they are able to perform work from home, you are encouraged to facilitate remote working arrangements where possible.

If the employee becomes ill during the self-isolation, it will become sick leave.

My employee was travelling in another country on vacation and now cannot fly back Canada. What are the options with respect to pay?

It is important in these circumstances to be clear about an employee’s status. In this case, the employee is, in essence, requesting a leave from work. Normally an employee would be expected to extend their vacation time or take an unpaid leave. It is understood this may have significant financial consequences for an employee. If you are still concerned we encourage you to reach out to your HR Advisor/Manager or Faculty Relations Senior Manager.

Further Information

Learn about leading and managing employees as well as recruiting and onboarding during this time.

See for university wide updates.