Arrival and settlement

Arriving from outside Newfoundland and Labrador or Canada

  • Immigration: If you are a Postdoctoral Fellow who neither holds Canadian citizenship or Permanent Resident status in Canada, you must apply for a work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • Study permits: School-age children of faculty members entering Canada on a work permit are not required to have a student permit. However children of Postdoctoral Fellows on a work permit, who will be attending a post-secondary institution, are required to obtain a study permit. Please see Citizenship and Immigration Canada for more info. Applications for student permits should be submitted with the application for employment authorization.
  • Spousal work permits: Spouses of Postdoctoral Fellows are normally permitted to work in Canada. Helpful information is available from this Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Application for employment authorization can be made from within Canada.
  • Finding a home: Memorial does not engage the services of one particular real estate company, however the University does manage an Off-Campus Housing Office that has a listing of apartments and rooms for rent. Information on rental accommodation may be found through the local paper The Telegram and through real estate agents.
  • Landlord/tenant agreements: The Department of Government Services, Newfoundland & Labrador provides information on rental agreements, residential tenancies, termination notices and Frequently Asked Questions about renting accommodations.
  • Property insurance: Whether renting or buying, it is considered advisable to have either tenant or homeowner insurance to protect property against theft, fire, or natural disaster. The yellow pages of the telephone directory or the local Yellow Pages website will yield a variety of choices.
  • Settling in St. John’s: You may wish to consult the City of St. John’s website for information on neighbourhoods, cost of living, city services, and utilities. For information about the sights and sounds of the province visit this tourism website, an invaluable guide on what to see in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Education in Newfoundland and Labrador: The Department of Education website contains information about education in the province from early childhood learning and kinderstart, and kindergarten to post-secondary. Note that the sidebar on K-12 contains links to a comprehensive overview of the Newfoundland school system, including Distance Education, French language education, home schooling, and private schools. The website for the NL English School District, which represents all English speaking students and schools in the province, includes information on the calendar, schools in your neighbourhood, the feeder system, wheelchair accessibility, French immersion program, and other pertinent information.
  • Childcare: Memorial runs the Childcare Centre for the children of students, faculty, and staff of the university with remaining spaces available to the general public. The facility has 4 self-contained childcare centres, Toddler, Pre-School Part-time, Pre-school full-time, and the Activity Centre which provides Kindercare and After-school care. St. John’s also has many other daycares and education facilities for children age 2 and older. View a list of daycares and preschools in the St. John’s area, as well as Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South, and Goulds.

Pay and expenses

  • Pay: Postdoctoral Fellows are paid on a biweekly basis (every second Thursday) by the Department of Human Resources. Postdocs are required tp apply to have their pay deposited directly into their Canadian bank accounts by completing and submitting this form:
  • Banking: All major Canadian banks have offices in St. John’s. To set up a bank account, please visit any of Canada’s major banks (Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, RBC Royal Bank, Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union, Eastern Edge Credit Union). Individual banks can advise you of documentation needed to open a new account, but typically you will require two pieces of identification and your Letter of Appointment.
  • Social Insurance Number: It is necessary for residents of Canada, whether Temporary Foreign Workers, Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens, to have a Social Insurance Number or SIN. This is needed to work legally in Canada. Apply for your SIN card as soon as possible after you arrive. For information on the documents necessary to obtain a Social Insurance Number please consult the Service Canada website. You may apply at this address or in person at the following Service Canada office: Service Canada Centre, 223 Churchill Avenue, Pleasantville, St. John's, NL, A1A 1N3.
  • Income taxes: Postdoctoral Fellows earn taxable income and are issued income tax information slips (T4 or T4A) for income earned the previous calendar year. Postdocs may take the Canada Revenue Agency’s online course, Learning about Taxes, to better understand Canada’s tax system and how to file a Canadian tax return.


  • Family doctors: For an up-to-date list of doctors taking on new patients in the St. John’s area, please call 729-4984.
  • Health Care and Medical Care Plan: As a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, you may qualify for the Newfoundland Medicare Plan (MCP). The MCP is a health insurance plan that covers all basic care for you and family members residing in Newfoundland. Eligibility is based on your status in the province. Temporary Foreign Workers (who have an offer of employment and work permit valid for 12 months or longer), permanent residents, and Canadian citizens are eligible for coverage. You must register with MCP as soon as possible after you arrive. Applications can be found in doctors' offices and hospitals or may be downloaded at the MCP website. Please note as well the documents required for Canadians arriving from other provinces, as well as those required by persons arriving from outside of Canada. For general information on MCP, information on beneficiaries, eligibility, and access to forms consult the Medical Care Plan website. Postdoctoral Fellows should also look at the Group Health and Life Benefits Plan under the section Personal and Family Needs.
  • Group Benefits Plan: Postdoctoral Fellows may be covered by this plan from the first day of active employment (see definition of Postdocs and inclusion in the bargaining unit). For Postdoctoral Fellows meeting eligibility requirements, participation in the University’s group benefits plan is a condition of employment. New employees, including those on contract who are eligible for benefits, should contact the Benefits and Pensions Office at 864-7406 or to set up an appointment to discuss their Benefit Plan.
  • International Postdoctoral Fellows health coverage: If you are an international Postdoctoral Fellow and do not qualify for MCP or the Groups Benefits Plan through Memorial University, you may op into the Foreign Health Insurance Plan for international students managed by the International Student Advising (ISA) Office. Consult the ISA website for information about this coverage and how to opt in.
  • Employee Assistance Program: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offered to Memorial employees, retirees, and their immediate family members at no cost, 24 hours/day, seven days/week. A variety of services is available in person, by telephone, by email, or online. These services include: personal well being, marriage and family relationships, legal assistance, family assistance, child and elder care resources, workplace challenges, addictions, career counselling, nutrition, and health care advice.


  • Obtaining a Newfoundland and Labrador driver's licence: If you are already in possession of a driver’s license from another jurisdiction within Canada, or from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, or the Republic of Korea, you may simply exchange your licence, within three months of arriving, for a Newfoundland licence provided: you are 17 years of age or older, your existing licence has not been cancelled or revoked, and your licence is expired for no more than 5 years. Information on the process of obtaining a licence, documents required and application forms are available at the Driver Licensing website. Please note that driving licences are classed 1-5. Class 1-4 are commercial drivers. If you are simply looking for an individual licence, it is class 5. Please note as well that drivers under 18 need to be re-tested for the driver's licence or permit. The Driver Licensing website also contains important information about obtaining a driver's licence for new drivers, the Road User's Manual, and information about medical testing.
  • Campus parking permit: Sales of parking permits are handled through Campus Enforcement and Patrol, in the Facilities Management Building, Room 1018. For those working in the Health Sciences Complex, permits can be purchased in Room H2720. Postdoctoral Fellows will need to show their Letter of Appointment as well as having their vehicle registration with them.


  • Postdoctoral Fellows are sent their employee number and Human Resources PIN (personal identification number) from the Department of Human Resources after confirmation of their employment. Any problems with the HR PIN may be addressed through the Human Resources Helpline 864-2434.
  • Employee Self-Service: The Department of Human Resources has an online employee self-service portal (ESS) that allows you to view or change personal information through the This site contains information on paystubs, the Employee Assistance Program, Employee Equity Information, etc. For assistance with your login to ESS, you may contact the Human Resources Help Desk by calling 864-2434.
  • Email and wireless Internet: Postdocs may set up a Memorial University email account and get wireless Internet access by visiting the Department of Computing and Communications website.
  • Computing problems: The Service Desk is the first point of contact for Postdoctoral Fellows with computing problems or queries. You may call 864-4595 with questions, submit them to or visit the Henrietta Harvey Building (HH-2012)
  • The Computer Purchasing Centre: The CPC is a not-for-profit operation mandated to service the Memorial University community, offering discounts and benefits from pricing and programs negotiated nationally for Canadian universities and colleges. This is where faculty, staff, and students often go to purchase computers or software.

Academic settlement

  • Postdoc Orientation: Once a year, the School of Graduate Studies hosts a Postdoctoral Fellows Orientation, which includes several presentations and a formal lunch. You should receive a formal invitation by email about a month before the Orientation.
  • Memorial University Campus Card: You will need to get a Campus Card for identification purposes. This card is issued, and the photo taken, at the Student Information Center, Answers, in the University Centre, Room 3005. Postdoctoral Fellows must present their employee number or their Letter of Appointment in order to obtain the card.
  • Memorial’s Libraries: The Memorial Campus card serves as your library card. Visit the library website for full information on borrowing privileges and the range of Memorial’s libraries services. Visit the Circulation Desk to obtain a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for off-campus web access to online journals, databases, e-books, and videos. If you wish to consult with librarians with expertise in finding information in particular areas, for teaching support, to reserve materials, go to Make a Request on the website.
  • Business cards: Memorial University business cards are available to Postdoctoral Fellows through Printing Services. Please contact the general administration office of your academic unit to order business cards.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to submit lay summaries of their research interests and projects on Yaffe, Memorial University’s proprietary search engine that connects your research to an international audience.


School of Graduate Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000