Postdoctoral Fellows Onboarding

Prior to Arrival – Foreign Employees

Foreign Postdoctoral Fellows are required to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Work Permit in Canada. The Immigration Process for Foreign PDFs on the Faculty Relations website outlines the steps involved in obtaining a temporary work permit and Social Insurance Number (SIN). It also provides information on what is expected after the foreign PDF arrives at UBC.

Please visit the Faculty Relations website for complete information on topics such as:

  • Work Permit
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • Where and how to apply for your visa/permit
  • Permit for accompanying dependents
  • Implied Status and how it affects MSP coverage

Upon Arrival

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. All employees are required by Service Canada to present their SIN card to their employer within three days of starting work.

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

B.C’s Medical Services Plan is mandatory for all B.C. residents.

For information about MSP and how to enroll: BC Medical Services Plan

*New (and returning) residents are required to complete a wait period consisting of the balance of the month in which residence in British Columbia is established, plus two months before benefits can begin. Please find more details: Coverage Wait Period

Find a physician for you and your family: College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC

Find a dentist in your area: BC Dental Association

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 TaxCanada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI). If you receive fellowship earnings, these will not be deducted for CPP and EI.

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 understanding taxes, which includes help on 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 U.S.: 1 800 267 5177
  • Calling from outside Canada and the US: 1 613 952 3741
  • Fax: 1 613 941 2505

Get information about taxable benefits related to UBC housing programs.

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

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

Contact UBC’s relocation Team and find housing information: Finding Housing

Resources, links, and contacts for help from UBC’s housing and relocation services team in finding a home to buy in Vancouver or Kelowna: Buying a home in BC

Find Vancouver & Kelowna Child Care resources: Child care and schooling options

On Your First Day

In order to have an official appointment in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at UBC, please submit the following documents to our HR Manager, Ayaka Bosshard (

  1. Copy of your passport (foreign employees only)
  2. Copy of work permit (foreign employees only)
  3. Copy of SIN
  4. Copy of Ph.D. or MD
  5. Copy of Curriculum Vitae
  6. Copy of signed offer letter supplied by your Supervisor

Please ensure to apply for UBC Card with your CWL, so our staff, Naz Khan ( can grant you access to our building and lab.

CWL Sign-up allows you to create a unique login name and password. A CWL and password is required to access your UBC email and a variety of UBC’s online applications.

Normally your CWL is generated automatically, and you will received an email from UBC with your CWL when your appointment is complete in Workday. If you do not have a Campus Wide Login (CWL) Account, please sign up immediately: CWL Sign-up. If you need further assistance, please contact IT Services at (604) 822 2008

As soon as you obtain a CWL, please apply for a UBC card for your access to our building and labs.

Once your CWL has been created, please contact our IT Manager, Metha Kijsawangwong:

He will assist you in creating your UBC email account.

This UBC employee orientation hub is a self-directed resource and learning space to assist new faculty and staff in navigating UBC. Regardless of your specific role, this resource hub is designed to support you during your first couple months at UBC. (Canvas access required)

New to UBC Vancouver Resource Hub

If you have questions or need help in your first days and weeks at UBC, contact Sara Sawatzky at

General Guide


Please visit our IT Support page for more information regarding onboarding: UBC CPS – IT Support

Mandatory Training

As a new employee, a number of courses are mandatory to meet WorkSafeBC and UBC requirements: UBC Safety & Risk Services

You will find the following mandatory training and surveys in your Workday – Sign in


  • Employment Equity & Inclusion Survey
  • Recruiting Experience Survey

You will be notified and instructed by our staff, Naz Khan:

What training is required for working in a lab?

Onboarding in Workday

Once your appointment is complete in our HR system (Workday), you will receive your onboarding tasks to complete within Workday.

Onboarding tasks (CWL required)

If you are eligible, Workday will notify you to enrol in the UBC employee benefits.

Please check your eligibility: UBC HR Benefits Eligibility and Plan Cost

Benefit plan details: UBC Benefit Plan

Questions? Contact Benefits

UBC Card & Library Card

A UBC card identifies you as an active student, faculty or staff member.

UBC cards grant you access to:

  • UBC Library privileges
  • Building access and access to card-controlled rooms
  • UBC Bookstore e-Money purchases
  • Food Services’ dining convenience and discounts
  • Meal plans for Housing residents
  • Athletics facilities

Apply for a UBC Card: Apply Online

You will need to pick it up from the key desk at the back of the Bookstore.

  • Your UBC card is your library card.
  • Obtain your card from the UBC Carding Office
  • A valid UBC card is required to borrow books and use library services.
  • A valid UBC CWL account is required to access library eResources.

HR Information

Benefit plan details: UBC Benefit Plan

Questions? Contact Benefits

Health & Wellness

  • UBC Wellbeing: Find resources for wellbeing strategic framework, tools and workshops.
  • UBC Recreation: Find information about how to stay active at home, fitness classes and general wellness
  • UBC HR Webpage: Find information about Staff and faculty mental health resources and how to get support
  • Postdoctoral Fellows Office Resource page: Find free health, mental health, and wellbeing resources available to Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC.

Work Permit Renewal

You must have a valid work permit to cover the period of your postdoctoral fellow training. Initially, you will have at lease one year’s work permit to be able to work at UBC. Postdoctoral Fellows should contact the department to make arrangements, if necessary, to continue your employment at UBC. A postdoctoral fellow’s appointment is limited to 5 years.

If the appointment is to be renewed, this needs to be done at least 4 months prior to expiry of current work permit. The department administrator will prepare a new Letter of Offer and provides it to the Postdoctoral Fellow along with the IRCC Offer of Employment number and proof of payment of the compliance fee.

Further details on the immigration process and immigration documents can found in our Immigration information for Visitors Section.

Please visit the Faculty Relations website for complete information on topics such as:

  • Work Permit
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • Where and how to apply for your visa/permit
  • Permit for accompanying dependents
  • Implied Status and how it affects MSP coverage

How to apply for a Work Permit: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) webpage