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New to Canada

The following information is a general guide to help you:

  • Understand what you must do to obtain the official documentation to live and work in Canada.
  • Be familiar with immigration and related matters with respect to tenured and tenure-track faculty members. 
  • Temporary Foreign Workers - Rights and Information

    Temporary Foreign Workers

    At Ontario Tech University all employees that are hired under the temporary foreign workers program or international mobility program are to be informed about their rights in Canada. The following websites have a weath of relevant information to help protect temporary foreign workers. Further information can be found on the Government of Canada website.

    Rights of Temporary Foreign Workers [PDF]

    Access to Healthcare

    University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

    The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) provides benefits to Non-Canadian, Non-permanent employees. All temporary foreign workers may be eligible to apply for UHIP. Information about UHIP can be found in the UHIP Benefits Information for Temporary Foreign Workers document.

    Workplace Accidents and Incidents

    All incidents and accidents must be immediately reported to your supervisor and campus security. Reporting any accidents is an important part of creating a healthy, respectful, and safe work environment. The Campus Security - Incident Reporting website has information on next steps for help while on campus, and for information on contacting 9-1-1 while working remotely.

    International Mobility Program

    Get to know your rights while working in Canada. This link will provide you with additional information on the International Mobility Program.

    Temporary Foreign Workers: Your Rights are Protected

    Please keep this document with information about your rights, for your future reference.

    Government of Canada Temporary Foreign Workers Information

  • Steps to obtain your work permit

    *Please note: All links below will open in a new browser window. To return to this page, close the new window.

    HRSDC approval 

    Once you have accepted an offer of employment for a core faculty position, Ontario Tech University will submit a request for confirmation of the offer of employment from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). HRSDC's role is to provide confirmation of the impact on the Canadian labour market that the entry of a foreign worker will have. We usually receive the HRSDC letter of confirmation within three to four weeks of your acceptance. We will forward the letter to you. The HRSDC letter will direct you to contact a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Visa post to apply for a work permit. 

    Temporary Resident Visa 

    Citizens of certain countries need a Temporary Resident Visa in addition to the work permit. To find out if you are from one of the countries that require a visa, check the list on the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website

    Applying for your work permit 

    Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who wishes to work in Canada needs to be authorized to do so. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States, Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon can apply directly at a port of entry (the border where you enter Canada). For a complete guide and the required application forms please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Guide below:

    Fee schedule

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a list of fees that are associated with applying for a work permit. Please see the CIC Application fee schedule for more information.

    Legal assistance 

    If you are joining Ontario Tech University as a new core faculty member, you may be referred to outside legal service for assistance with immigration-related issues. Any related legal fees associated with your own application for a work permit may be eligible to be claimed through the moving expense guidelines. Please contact the Ontario Tech University Human Resources Department for further information. 

    CIC Call Centre contact numbers

    This is a 24-hour automated telephone service in Canada.
    • Citizenship and Immigration: 1.888.242.2100
    • Permanent Resident Card: 1.888.255.4541
  • Applying for Permanent Residency
    If you are planning to live and work permanently in Canada, you can apply for permanent residency at the same time you apply for your work permit. If you delay your application for permanent resident status until after your arrival in Canada you may have to renew the work permit. A permanent resident application from your country of origin (or the country you are a resident in) are usually processed faster than those made in Canada.

    Where to apply:
    Applicants outside Canada: If you have been legally admitted for at least one year to the country you are currently living in, or if you are a citizen, you must apply at the Canadian Visa Post serving your country or region. The list of visa posts will help you identify the appropriate office, contact information and website. You can download the region-specific forms required by the visa office from the website or request them by mail.

    Applicants living in Canada:
    You have a choice. You can send your application to the Canadian visa office in Buffalo, New York. The specific forms required for your application through this visa post can be downloaded from its website or requested by mail. Applications through Buffalo are currently taking about two years to process. Or, you can apply at the visa post responsible for your country of citizenship. In some cases, applications through the visa post in the country of citizenship can result in a drastically shorter processing time. 

    Medical exam:
    You and accompanying family members will be required to undergo a medical exam at your own expense. Your own doctor cannot do the medical exam. You will be notified by Citizenship and Immigration Canada when the medical exam is required. The examination must be conducted by a physician on Canada's List of Designated Medical Practitioners

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) guide and requisite forms can be found on the CIC's Applications and Forms page.
  • Applying for your Social Insurance Number
    As soon as you arrive in Canada, apply in person for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) for payroll and income tax purposes. Application forms are available at the Government of Canada office: 78 Richmond St. West, Oshawa. You can take the completed application, along with your work permit, passport and Ontario Tech University offer to the office. You will be issued a letter confirming your nine-digit Social Insurance Number and your card will be sent to you in the mail. As soon as you receive the confirmation of your SIN, please notify HR and provide the number.

    For more information on Social Insurance Numbers, visit the Service Canada - Social Insurance Number website.
  • Applying for health insurance

    UHIP  - University Health Insurance Plan

    Ontario Tech is a participating university in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). UHIP was created to offer affordable insurance to pay the cost of the hospital and medical services that you and your family might need during the waiting period for OHIP. 

    OHIP - Ontario Health Insurance Plan

    Eligibility for OHIP: Ontario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage (OHIP). To be eligible for Ontario health coverage (OHIP) you must : 

    • Be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in Ontario's Health Insurance Act.
    • Make your permanent and principal home in Ontario.
    • Be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period. 

    OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario.

    New or returning Ontario residents:

    If you are a newcomer to Ontario, or a former resident returning here to live after being out of the country for more than seven months, the waiting period begins on the date you establish or re-establish residence in Ontario. If you are an eligible resident moving to Ontario from another part of Canada, the health insurance of your former province/territory will cover you for up to three months.

    New and returning residents are required to purchase private health insurance in case you become ill during the OHIP waiting period - see UHIP. 

    To register for OHIP:

    Go in person to the nearest Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care office:

    Executive Tower, Oshawa Centre
    419 King Street West, Suite 401
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1J 7J2

    Office hours:
    Monday through Friday
    : 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     5 to 7 p.m. (by appointment only; call 1.888.376.5197)

    Complete a Registration for Ontario Health Coverage form. You can download the Registration for Ontario Health Coverage form at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Website

    Provide the necessary original documents.

  • Opening a personal bank account

    Upon arrival in Canada, you should open a chequing account to allow for direct deposit of your pay from the university. Banks require identification, including your social insurance number, in order to open an account. 

    • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: This organization provides consumer information and oversees financial institutions to ensure that they comply with federal consumer protection measures. 
  • Bringing your family to Canada
    If you are coming to Canada on a work permit, your family can accompany you if they qualify to enter Canada as visitors. Consult the Canada Citizenship and Immigration website

    Spousal Work Permit program

    Your spouse (husband, wife or common-law partner including same-sex partner) may qualify for a work permit without the need for a job confirmation from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) through the Spousal Work Permit program.

    If you are a returning Canadian or permanent resident and your spouse is a non-Canadian, your spouse may be granted a work permit upon confirmation of a job offer.
  • Helpful links and tips

    General Helpful Links
    (these links will open in new browser window)


    • Be sure to have an itemized list of your household items that are being moved or shipped.
    • Remember to get a signed original letter from your car insurance company confirming the status of your driving record.
    • There may be special requirements for shipping, importing and registering your vehicle. For more information and to find out how to import a vehicle into Canada visit the Registrar of Imported Vehicles.
    • Information for Importing a Pet into Canada
    • Canada Revenue Agency publishes a Guide for Newcomers which provides information on taxes and filing.

    Entering Canada
    When you are entering Canada, have these documents ready for the immigration official:
    • The letter you have received from the Visa Post outside of Canada.
    • A copy of your HRSDC confirmation letter.
    • A copy of your offer of employment from Ontario Tech University.
    • Your passport and visa, if issued.
    • Travel documents (e.g. airline tickets).
    • Be sure to ask the immigration official to add accompanying children to your work permit. If they are not listed, you may encounter difficulties with school registration and health insurance. Immigration officials can serve you in both English and French.