Moving to British Columbia

Some of the first things you’ll need to do when you arrive are to make sure that you and your family have health care coverage to cover the cost of medical services, and to enrol in UBC benefits, payroll and pension.

You can read more about these topics below, but here’s a summary of what you need to do:

  • As soon as you arrive in BC, apply for Medical Services Plan (MSP), the province’s medical plan.
  • Since you will be required to serve a waiting period before your MSP coverage starts, arrange for private medical insurance if you are arriving in BC from outside Canada. If you are coming to BC from another Canadian province or territory, you will be covered by your former provincial medical plan during the waiting period.
  • Apply for your UBC benefits, payroll and pension.

What is the BC Medical Services Plan?

In Canada, the cost of medically necessary physician and hospital services is covered by the public medical plan in the province where you live. In British Columbia, this plan is called the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP).

All BC residents must enrol in the MSP. This includes:

  • non-permanent residents, such as those holding study and work permits valid for six months or more and
  • applicants for permanent resident status who are the spouse or child of an eligible BC resident.

Tourists and visitors to BC are not eligible for MSP. Learn more about the MSP.

How do I enrol in UBC payroll, pension and benefits?

Your appointment type, length and percentage of time worked will determine your eligibility for pension and benefits at UBC. If you are eligible, the full benefits package includes:

Learn more about how to enrol for benefits.




The benefits information on this website is provided as a descriptive summary only. While the University has endeavored to accurately reflect its benefit programs, policies and plans, the information on this website does not create any contractual or other rights between the University and its faculty and staff members. To the extent that there are any conflicts or discrepancies between the benefits information on this website and the benefit plan documents (including group insurance contracts and benefit booklets) or any applicable collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy, the benefit plan documents and collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy will govern in all cases.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Locked A locked padlock. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Settings A single gear. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Unlocked An unlocked padlock. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.