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In order to be paid in Canada, you need a social insurance number (SIN). Domestic students should already have one by now. If you are an international student, ask your supervisor to prepare a contract for you to sign. If your supervisor will be away, they must submit a request to pay you to help [at] ece [dot] ubc [dot] ca, in which case you pick up the contract from the department office (Room 5500 in the Kaiser Building).
Bring the contract and your study permit to the Vancouver Service Canada Centre at 1263 W Broadway, Vancouver. They will give you a printout with your SIN. Bring this printout to the department office along with a copy of your study permit so they can forward the documents to payroll.
Even if you will not be paid you may still want Canadian identification. See 'Arriving in British Columbia' for more information on getting a BC ID.
In order to be paid by UBC you will need a chequing account with a Canadian bank or credit union. Note that fees and services will vary by institution, so don’t be afraid to shop around. Banks usually have specialized products/accounts for students. All major Canadian banks have branches that are near UBC or are easily accessible via transit.
British Columbia has a sales tax rate of 12%. Some items are exempt, such as non-processed food items. Note that prices posted in stores do not include the taxes; they are added when you make your purchase. This is the standard in North America.