Transgender Student Resources
International Transgender Student Resources
This page has been prepared by the internationalization office to provide information to trans international students. We realize that trans and gender diverse international students’ journeys with medical care, immigration, and other legal documents can be difficult and different for everyone. We also understand that there is a lot of information on this page. To make it a little easier to access the critical information you need, we have divided the information into three sections. Take your time to go through all these sections as it can be very overwhelming. We hope you will find this page helpful in your journey. If you have questions, concerns, and feedback then please connect with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Most people will be able to obtain coverage under the Medical Care Plan (see below). This is the same healthcare that citizens and permanent residents get. MCP covers certain gender-confirmation surgeries with a referral from a general practitioner.
- Additionally, if your income level is eligible, you may be able to enrol in the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program. This program further subsidizes the cost of medicine. However, please also see about Student Union insurance.
- Student Union insurance is divided into four: GSU for graduate students, MUNSU for undergraduate students, and MISU for students at the Marine Institute. It acts as a supplementary healthcare benefits plan to MCP, and you can only get it if you have MCP. Student Union insurance can cover certain costs, particularly relating to medication. All student unions benefits can be found on their websites.
- If you are not eligible for MCP, you will be covered under the Foreign Health Insurance Plan. This plan only entitles you to emergency medical care, and not coverage for gender transition. If you have any questions about this, please e-mail email@example.com
Medical Care Providers
- Mari-Lynne Sinnott: A family doctor / general practitioner whose main scope of service is transgender and gender non-conforming people. She is able to prescribe you hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and refer you for gender confirmation surgery (GCS) on an informed consent basis. This means that you do not need the additional approval of a psychologist or another medical professional in order to begin medically transitioning. (Note that this may be different for people under 18). E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +1 709-722-9165, press 1
- Student Wellness and Counselling Centre: There is a student health clinic called the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre at the University Centre, which can help connect you with a family doctor and/or a counsellor. Please see https://www.mun.ca/studentwellness/supports-services/ for more details.
Change of Name
- Method one: You use the provincial process through the Vital Statistics Division, Service NL. Please read https://www.gov.nl.ca/dgsnl/birth/legal-name-change/ for more information. Anyone with a valid immigration status in Canada, who has lived here for at least three months, is eligible.
- IMPORTANT: If you are changing your surname, your old name (deadname) and the new name will be published in the Newfoundland Gazette. In order to avoid this, it is strongly advised to check the box in Section 3: I would be unduly prejudiced or embarrassed by the publication. Then, you can write a letter describing your circumstances of being trans, and how it would affect your safety, and attach it to the application. You can also attach a letter from your doctor/psychologist if you have one.
- FURTHERMORE: If you are also able to demonstrate that your proposed name has been in common use, also tick the box that I have been commonly known under the new surname. An example document you can use to prove this is a letter from the Registrar’s Office, Memorial University, linking your legal name and your preferred name.
- CONCLUSION: You will get a certificate of change of name from the Province, and you will be able to show this to public and private organizations to prove your name change.
- Method two: If your country of nationality offers a name change service that doesn’t require you to be in the country, you may wish to use this service instead, as it may make it easier for you to amend documents from that country (e.g. passport).
- EXAMPLE: Finnish citizens residing outside the country can change their forename/surname by sending in an application to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. See https://dvv.fi/en/changing-forename and https://dvv.fi/en/changing-surname for more details. You are advised to research the laws of your country of nationality if you would like to do it this way.
- CONCLUSION: You will get a document from your country of nationality (e.g. court order, deed poll, extract from family register, etc.) and can likely apply for an updated passport. You can use these documents to prove your name change. However, you need an official translation if it is not in English or French.
Change of Gender
- Method one: Provincial process through Vital Statistics. Please read https://www.gov.nl.ca/dgsnl/birth/changing-your-sex-designation/ for more information. Anyone with a valid immigration status in Canada, who has lived here for at least three months, is eligible.
- IMPORTANT: You can do this at the same time as your change of name application, by sending the forms in the same envelope or dropping them off together.
- Method two: If your country of nationality offers a gender recognition service that doesn’t require you to be there, this may make it easier for you to amend documents from that country (e.g. passport).
- EXAMPLE: U.S. citizens can simply amend the gender on their passport without presenting any further documentation. See https://fam.state.gov/FAM/08FAM/08FAM040303.html for more details.
- IMPORTANT: If you want to change your legal gender to “X”, your country of nationality may not recognize this. You should consult with your relevant diplomatic representation first.
- FURTHERMORE: You may also need an official translation.
Now that you have learned about the processes of changing your name and/or gender identity legally, you need to think about what documents you need to update and the order in which to do them. We are providing a list of those documents in the order we think will help the most.
Provincial Identity Card / Driver’s Licence
Once you have a change of name and/or gender document, you can proceed to the Motor Registration Division, Service NL (same building as Vital Statistics Division), and get a new identification card or driver’s licence, or replace your old one. You will need to show them the relevant legal documents. This is a necessary step before going to IRCC.
Social Insurance Number
You can book an appointment with Service Canada in order to amend your SIN details, or use the online process.
- You should bring or attach the relevant legal documents, and mention to the clerk or write a letter of explanation stating what you want your details changed from and to.
- You do not need to have updated your immigration document for this.
- Updating your tax records is a separate process with the Canada Revenue Agency. You can find the details by clicking here.
Medical Care Plan
If you have an MCP card, under the Change of Name Act they are obligated to change your name on your MCP following a provincial legal change.
- However, MCP may request proof that you have also updated your immigration document. In this case, please consult with the MCP office for further details. You may also consider updating your immigration document before you proceed to change your MCP.
- You must send in a Card Replacement / Information Update form (https://www.gov.nl.ca/hcs/files/mcp-forms-public-services-form-new-mcp.pdf), ticking the NAME CHANGE box (and if you are changing your gender, manually notating AND GENDER on the form) to the MCP office, attaching all the relevant documents.
Study and Work Permit / Temporary Resident Visa
If you change your name and/or gender through the provincial process, IRCC will recognize it and issue you a replacement study/work permit upon application (it is not automatic). You do not need to amend your passport first (however, if you are able to, it is recommended).
- Attach with your application:
- the name / gender change documents
- a letter of explanation mentioning “I am requesting this change under the new IRCC Sex and Gender Client Identifier Policy”
- form IRM 0002: Request for Change of Sex or Gender Identifier (https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/documents/pdf/english/kits/forms/irm0002e.pdf).
- Your provincial ID card or driver’s licence in your new name and/or gender.
- If you already have an application in progress, you can instead do this through the Web form.
- NOTE: You can obtain a temporary resident visa (TRV) in your new name on your passport with your old name. However, if you are from a visa-exempt country, you cannot have your electronic travel authorization (ETA) amended in this manner, and must instead apply for a TRV.
If instead, you have changed your details through your country of nationality first, then you should consult the IRCC change of name requirement.
- IMPORTANT: For this purpose, you may consider yourself a non-Canadian citizen changing name outside Canada, and residing in Canada.
Verification of Status
Once you have changed your study / work permit, you can then apply for a verification of status, linking your old and new details. This may make it easier for you to apply for federal and provincial services. See verification of status page for more details.
As a document issued by your country of nationality, IRCC considers your passport an authoritative record of your legal name and gender. If you change your name and/or gender through the provincial process, it will be valid for Canadian purposes, but you must check with your country’s diplomatic representation to see if it will be valid in your country of nationality.
Memorial University Records
If you have changed your legal name and/or sex designation, you can submit a Change of Name form, attaching the relevant legal documents, to the Registrar’s Office by hand or by e-mail: email@example.com.
If you have not yet changed your legal name and only want a preferred name to show up on MUN internal documents, you can submit the same form, notating that this is a preferred name change only and not legal name. IMPORTANT: transcripts and other external, legal MUN documents will still have your legal name.
After a change is effected with Memorial University, you can consult ITS at firstname.lastname@example.org on how to get a new e-mail ID, and other technical matters. You may also wish to consult the Trans & Gender Diverse Students' Guide for further information.
MUN Community Connection
MUN Community Connection
There are a number of on-campus resources to support you through your transition. This list of resources is updated as new options become available:
MUN Sexual and Gender Advocacy (MUN-SAGA)
A space to socialize with fellow queer students and allies on campus. It also has a Gender Gear Initiative, which can help you obtain binders, packers, breast forms, etc. for free or reduced cost.
TEL: 709-864-7619 ADR: Room UC-6022, University Centre
Other resources can be found at:
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office - find equity-related policies and procedures.
- MUN Chaplaincy - faith-based chaplains and resources
- International Student Advisors - advisors who can answer questions about everything from health insurance, immigration and housing.
- MUN student wellness and counseling
- Crisis support links
- MUNSU Resources
- Graduate Student Union
- Student Life Resources
St. John’s Community Resources: