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Research Training Centre

International Trainees

Information for International Research Fellows and Graduate Students

This section  is intended to provide information that may be useful for post-doctoral fellows and graduate students coming from outside of Canada.

Information specifically for International Medical Graduates is available in the International Medical Graduates section.

Some things you need to know if you arrive from outside Canada

1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, your position at SickKids is contingent upon the issuing of the Employment Authorization, which you require under Canadian Law (only applies to international fellows). We have been advised by the Canada Employment Centre that your position may be "Validation Exempt". Please contact the Canadian Consulate for instructions on how to process your application.

Website: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

2. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

OHIP Office
College Park, 777 Bay Street
(market level) at the southeast corner of Bay Street and College Street.
The office is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm

Appointments may be booked for this office through the ministry's toll-free number 1-888-376-5197.

Services available at the site include health card registration for newcomers to Ontario, renewals of health cards, change of address, change of name and replacement of lost or stolen health cards.

Website: Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

3. OHIP Replacement Coverage

International post-doctoral research fellows that will be engaged in research/teaching activities for 12 months or more will be eligible for OHIP coverage. However, there is a non-negotiable, three-month waiting period for OHIP eligibility; replacement coverage must be purchased to cover these three months. All new research fellows who fall into one of the categories listed below are required to enroll in OHIP Replacement Coverage upon arrival in Canada. Research fellows on short-term engagements of 12 months or less are required to purchase OHIP Replacement Coverage for the full duration of their engagement.

Post-doctoral research fellows NOT covered by OHIP include:

  • Non-Canadian residents and Canadian residents returning to Canada after seven years leave.
  • Family members of international post-doctoral fellows (spouse, partner and/or children).

OHIP Replacement Coverage is a health insurance plan available to all international post-doctoral fellows (PDFs), provided by SickKids. It is provided by SickKids in association with American Home Assurance Company. If accepted, your coverage is effective on your first day of assignment with SickKids.

4. Income Tax

Unless informed otherwise, all staff paid through SickKids payroll are automatically set-up for income tax deductions. If you are eligible and wish to be considered for exemptions, please speak to your supervisor or Human Resources Partner to ensure that the appropriate documentation is forwarded to payroll. If you have an award in your name, and submit this information to payroll via your Human Resources Partner, you will be exempted from CPP and EI deductions. The exemption will apply to the award value only, not to any top-up amount which may be provided by your supervisor or from another source.

5. Health and Dental Benefits

Research fellows on the SickKids payroll system are eligible to participate in the Hospital Dental and Extended Health Benefit Plan. The benefit fees will be deducted from your pay. Benefit coverage will be effective at the beginning of the month following a three month waiting period.

If you are a research fellow with your own funding and will not be set up on our payroll system, we are not able to make payroll deductions for benefits. In order to enrol in a benefits plan, you can look into an individual plan through an insurance carrier.

6. Obtaining a Social Insurance Number

Website: Service Canada - Social Insurance Number (SIN)

7. Other Links

Information for international students while at the University of Toronto

Website: University of Toronto Graduate Student Union
Website: University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies

The following page offers general information for anyone who is new to Toronto.

  • Services & Resources in Toronto