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Instructions for Visiting Scholars:

(Note: these instructions have been well tested with CBIE-sponsored visiting scholars but they should work well for new students and other visitors to our NetSysLab. Thank you to Nazareno, Paulo, Thiago and Marcos for putting this together)

Before coming:

1. Apply for visa.

Check the ubc page on that. If you are a graduate student coming from Brazil for less than 6 months in Canada and paid by GSEP, you'll ask for a work visa. There is no need for medical exams and the whole process is very quick: two or three weeks. If you are coming for longer, the process i s more complicated.

In the past, people have used used a letter from the program mentioning a 1.6k / month scholarship and one from Brazil, saying they'd be paid extra 1k per month. This was enough as an stipend for the embassy, but we don't know how much exactly is enough.

2. Get health insurance for the first months in canada.

Some people have got the one suggested by UBC.

A tip is that if you can mail it to the house of someone from NetSysLab, you can later use their letter as a proof of address once you arrive in Canada. That will be useful to get a bank account.

Students: You have iMed coverage for first three months of your program. But you need to apply for Medical Service Plan (MSP) immediately after you arrived in Vancouver (This will take around 8 weeks to process).

3. Look for a place to rent at craigslist and at the UBC housing here, here and here, if you can do that well in advance (queues often last for months).

After arriving in Vancouver:

4. Open a Bank account

The catch here is that you need a proof of address. A student account means you don't need to pay for the annual fee. Sometimes they just create a student account for you even if you have a work permit.

5. Provide a completed Personal Data Form and your passport (that should include your Immigration permit) to Suzie Maginley or Sonia Dhillon or Julia Scrimgeour in the ECE Administration Services Office (KAIS 5500). They will generate your Employee/Faculty/Studant number.

6. Ask to requiring access to the lab room (KAIS4075) for the time of your visit. Go through the process of getting a UBC Card and with your passport you can go to MCLD 112B to ask for access using the card.

7. Fill two other forms: one for an ECE computer account and a second one for an ECE photocopier account (ask for this form in KAIS5505).

8. To have a wired network connection in the ECE network, follow the instructions in How to obtain a network connection

9. To have access to the wireless, you can ask Matei to sponsor you a guest account. However, this infrastructure is managed by UBC (not ECE), so you will be outside ECE firewall (so no access to the ECE intranet, you'll need to use the wired network for this).

10. Get computer accounts for the NetSysLab infrastructure. The current administrator is Tahsin. Also, ask the administrator to get a NetSysLab Wiki account and update this website with useful information to help others.

11. Subscribe to group mailing lists: Its address is To subscribe to the mailing lists, you need first send a mail to, wait for a reply and then click the link in that reply to complete the whole process. The reply mail is generated only when your subscription is approved by the group owner. Send a hello message to to make sure you have got the membership and introduce yourself to other group members.

12. Subscribe to

Getting paid:

If you are being paid by expense reimbursement (e.g., you are a CBIE/GSEP scholar), you must claim your expenses to get paid. This is done as in claiming travel expenses.

If you are a student (e.g., paid through a research assistantship), please remind Matei to initiate it (Faculty members submit requests to pay students to he'll generally cc you). After one / two days, you will receive a email from ECE Administration Services Office (KAIS 5500) with the relevant forms you'll have to fill (direct-deposit and personal-data forms). Fill in those forms and go to KAIS5500 with your passport and study permit (Important: You need to have a Social Insurance Number, please read below the "Applying for Social Insurance Number" section).

Applying for a UBC Card

Only a few people managed to get a UBC card when coming as Visiting Scholar. By Marcus' successful experience, once the first expenses claim is made, the system will generate an Employer ID for you (it takes some time though). Keep asking in KAIS 5505 if your Employer ID is already in the system. Once you get it, use it to create a CWL account. Probably, you are going to be considered as Faculty instead of Student, as it seems to be an easier way to host Visiting Scholars. After creating the CWL account, you can apply for your UBC card.

Applying for Social Insurance Number [SIN]

You need to get SIN, if you are offered a research assistantship/ teaching assistantship position at EECE. Service Canada normally asks for following documents. 1. Proof for Identity (e.g: Passport) 2. Proof for Status (e.g: Study Permit) 3. Employment Letter.

To get the employment letter, please go to EECE office (in Kaiser Building), collect and fill the "Employment Contract" form and meet me to get it signed. Please visit for more information.

If you have a work permit and you are paid by UBC, you don't need the employment letter to apply for the SIN. Go directly to Service Canada with your passport and work permit in the morning, get a receipt of the SIN application from there and give it along with your direct deposit form back to KAIS 5505 before 4:00 pm. You'd better keep a photocopy of that receipt in case you don't receive the SIN card within 15 workdays.