After arriving in Canada

When you arrive in Canada, take these steps before starting your studies.

After-arrival checklist

After arriving in British Columbia: 
  1. Apply for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
  2. Check that you have iMED health insurance 
  3. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  4. Add your document expiry dates to UBC’s Reminder System
  5. Sign up to receive the International Community Update newsletter
  6. Learn how your enrolment impacts immigration, including part-time studies and taking time away from studies
  7. Get a BCID card to avoid carrying your passport for identification.
  8. Learn how to get vaccinated or register your COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve been vaccinated outside of BC.

If you get COVID-19 symptoms, check the BC Centre for Disease Control website for guidance. 

If you need a temporary mailing address

If you don’t have a mailing address, you can rent a Post Office Box from Canada Post or use the mailing address of your friend or relative who is in Canada. You should not use the address of a friend who lives in UBC residence since they only accept mail for current residents.

You can use International Student Advising as your temporary mailing address when you first arrive in Canada.

International Student Advising
UBC Life Building
1200 - 6138 Student Union Blvd.
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

International Student Advising is not responsible for your mail. Mail will be publicly accessible in the office, so there is no way to ensure that your mail will be secure. International Student Advising does not accept packages on behalf of students as there is no secure storage space. 

After you've moved into your place of residence, remember to change all of your mailing addresses.

Learning about life in Canada

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide

International Student updates and FAQ

Read the latest updates about on immigration and health insurance for international students.

See the FAQ

This information is accurate as of Tue, Jul 11, 2023, and is subject to change. Follow the latest updates for any travel restrictions due to COVID-19.