Relocation Process: A Guide for Hiring Departments

The following outlines steps for obtaining relocation assistance for eligible faculty members and senior management staff who are described as “new hires” below and “designated professionals” in the relocation policy. All mentions of “the moving company” below refer to any one of UBC’s designated relocation and moving companies and their sub-contractors (unless otherwise noted.)

Summary of how payments are made:

  • Either the new hire or the hiring department pays for eligible expenses up front depending on the kind of expense.
  • The new hire forwards any receipts or invoices to the hiring department if the hiring department wasn’t originally copied on them.
  • If the new hire pays up front, the hiring department reimburses the new hire from the department budget with the assistance of Financial Operations in Vancouver or Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.
  • Then, for all eligible expenses under the relocation policy, the hiring department requests reimbursement from Financial Operations in Vancouver or Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.
  • Financial Operations in Vancouver or Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna reimburses the hiring department using the Central Relocation Fund, the UBC fund that supports the relocation policy.

Overall steps:

  1. The hiring department negotiates terms of relocation funding with the new hire using the following as general guidelines:

If you have questions regarding the limits or the expenses that can be reimbursed, please follow up with Joyce Wei, Relocation Administrator of Human Resources, before those expenses occur.

For other assistance in helping new hires and their families make a smooth transition to UBC, please contact Housing & Relocation Services.

  1. The hiring department confirms the terms of relocation funding in the new hire’s Letter of Offer. See sample offer letters. If the new hire isn’t a Canadian citizen or doesn’t have permanent resident status, please review immigration information here.
  2. The department administrator completes the Department Contact information section of the UBC Contact and Information Sheet, and passes on the sheet to the new hire. The new hire then completes the rest of the sheet. (Note: The sheet is for QMM moves, but may be used as a resource for other moves.)
  3.  The new hire contacts the moving company’s Relocation Coordinator and submits the completed UBC Contact Information Sheet. (Note: This step applies to QMM moves only. For all other moves, please contact your moving company’s relocation coordinator directly.)

You must use the moving companies designated by UBC or CAUBO in order to be reimbursed from the Central Relocation Fund.

If new hires need to make travel arrangements, they can find more information at the UBC Travel website.

  1. The moving company Relocation Coordinator contacts the new hire to go over preliminary questions and arrange for a survey of household goods and personal effects to be moved.
  2. The moving company performs the survey.
  3. The moving company creates an estimated quote and sends it to the new hire and the department administrator.
  4. The department administrator needs to authorize the quote by setting up a Purchase Order with Financial Operations in Vancouver. Please see their website for some guidelines (requires CWL login) and also familiarize yourself with the following steps:
  • To set up a Purchase Order, complete and download the Service Requisition form (requires CWL login) from Financial Operations. Then, submit the form along with the quote from the moving company, and any other documentation to support the quote (e.g. email correspondence) to Financial Operations.
  • Financial Operations then sends the Purchase Order number to the department administrator and the moving company Relocation Coordinator.
  • As changes may arise during the move, the moving company Relocation Coordinator may send revised quotes to the new hire and the department administrator for approval. Once a revised quote is approved, the department administrator completes the Relocation Change Request to Active Purchase Order form (requires CWL login) and emails the form and a copy of the revised quote to Financial Operations to modify the Purchase Order.
  1. The moving company performs the relocation and sends a final invoice to the department administrator and the new hire. The final invoice must include the Purchase Order number.
  2. The department administrator processes payment of the final invoice by forwarding it to Financial Operations. To authorize payment, include the following on the invoice:
  • “Approved (or OK) to pay”.
  • The name of the person authorizing payment on behalf of the department.
  • The signature of the authorizer.

This indicates to Financial Operations that:

  • The services were completed as agreed to.
  • The services rendered and any insurance valuation protection purchased agrees with what was invoiced and that it does not exceed the total detailed on the Purchase Order (PO).
  1. For other relocation expenses, hiring departments pay for eligible expenses up front or reimburse the new hire by filling out a Requisition for Payment form or a Travel Requisition for Payment form and submitting it to Financial Operations in Vancouver or Payment & Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna along with original receipts and invoices. When filling out these forms, charge these expenses to account code 634000 (Relocation and Moving).

Relocation expenses that are considered taxable benefits, such as customs and immigration expenses, need to be charged to account code 634001 (Relocation – Taxable Benefit). This will ensure that the taxable benefits are captured on the new hire’s T4 (the Statement of Remuneration Paid that they will submit to the Canada Revenue Agency when filing their taxes.)

For more information on taxable benefits, please see the Canada Revenue Agency website on moving expenses.

To process these benefits more easily, please ask the new hire to pay up front for any third-party service providers (e.g. lawyers). Then reimburse the new hire for these expenses out of your department’s own budget.

  1. To claim reimbursement from the Central Relocation Fund, the UBC fund that supports the relocation policy, hiring departments must submit an original Relocation Reimbursement Claim Form and a copy of the General Ledger, along with original invoices and receipts to Financial Operations in Vancouver or Finance Operations, UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. If the original invoices and receipts have already been used for reimbursement to the new hire, then you may submit back-up copies.
  2. If the hiring department pays up front for any relocation expenses that result in costs exceeding the total negotiated relocation allowance (including the limit available from the Central Relocation Fund and/or any limit negotiated from the department’s own budget at the time the job offer was made), the new hire will reimburse the hiring department for the excess amount.
  3. If new hires voluntarily leave UBC before a 24-month period, they will reimburse the University for the Central Relocation Funds paid on a pro-rated basis as per the relocation policy. The hiring department is responsible for calculating and collecting the reimbursement on behalf of the University.

For a summary of the process, please download the Relocation Process Checklist for Hiring Department (PDF). (Note: The checklist is for QMM moves, but may be used as a resource for other moves.)