Guide to Managing Award Holders in Canada (Development Stream) - Chapter 4

October 2016

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4 Financial Rules for an Award Program

The applicable financial limits are detailed in the “Summary table of costs covered in a training program for students and trainees” in section 4.16.

4.1 Medical Examinations and Visas

Candidates are reimbursed for all costs associated with mandatory medical examinations as well as visas and permits. In addition, medical tests and examinations must all be done according to the procedure established by the Canadian mission in the recipient country or in a neighbouring country.

A medical examination is mandatory if the candidate is coming from a country designated by Health Canada as having a high incidence of communicable diseases, or if the applicant will be in Canada for over six (6) months. A doctor designated by the Government of Canada will perform the examination. The visa officer from the Canadian mission may provide information in this regard.

The medical record must include:

  • a medical examination;
  • a chest X-ray; and
  • blood tests to screen for tuberculosis, HIV and other diseases.

Important: All health matters and screening should be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

4.2 Health Care Plan

As part of the training program, the EA is required to provide the necessary health care insurance coverage (basic plan) to allow award holders to complete their academic or training program. Some award holders in academic programs might receive insurance coverage offered by their educational institution.

Upon signing the Training Agreement, the EA must inform award holders of the health care plan available to them.

4.3 Air Travel Costs and Arrangements

The EA must contact airline companies to arrange travel for award holders to Canada and then back to their country (flight reservation, itinerary and confirmation). It must also give award holders one plane ticket to come to Canada and another to return to their country, in other words, two one-way tickets. However, award holders who plan to return to their country by any other means should inform the EA, which will then consult the Global Affairs Canada project officer to determine whether such a request is justified. Any costs associated with itinerary changes or unscheduled stops during air travel are to be borne by the award holder.

Costs associated with return transportation between the international airport in the recipient country and the training location in Canada are eligible. However, the portion of the trip from the award holder’s home to the international airport and vice versa is payable by the award holder or his government. In addition, travel is to be in economy class at the most economical fare, by the shortest route and with the shortest possible transit times. The EA must also use travel agencies offering the best prices.

4.4 Shipment of Personal Effects

When coming to Canada, award holders are not entitled to any funds for air freight. They must therefore abide by the baggage requirements of the various airlines.

However, upon returning to their own countries, award holders have the option of bringing back, by either air or sea freight, any books and personal effects they acquired during their training program. Those goods will be delivered at their point of entry (airport or port) and the customs clearance and charges are the responsibility of the award holder.

  • For long-term training, the maximum permitted weight is 325 kg, including packaging.
    • Basic allowable weight: 100 kg for the first year (130 kg including packaging)
    • 50 kg per additional year or part of a year (plus 30 percent of weight for packaging)
  • For short-term training, the award holder is not entitled to any freight. If an award holder must acquire material or documents to achieve the objectives of the program that is funding the training, the EA may, after reaching an agreement with the Global Affairs Canada project officer, authorize freight weighing up to the basic 100 kg (130 kg including packaging).
  • If the weight exceeds the allowable limit, the award holder is to pay for the excess weight. Award holders must also pay for shipping insurance.

The award holder must either contact the EA or make arrangements with a licensed carrier for the shipment of his personal effects.

Award holders must present customs officers with a list of effects they are bringing back to their country. However, the following items cannot be shipped at the Department’s expense:

  • Perishable goods;
  • Liquid or solid fuels;
  • Pets and livestock;
  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Firearms and ammunition;
  • Explosives, corrosives, flammable liquids, aerosols and cooking oil;
  • Goods requiring controlled climatic conditions.

4.4.1 Loss of personal effects

Airline companies are responsible for transporting the award holder’s luggage. If the award holder does not pick up his luggage upon arrival, he must immediately inform the airline, which will then deliver the luggage to the award holder’s residence or to the EA’s address. Each piece of luggage or package must have a label with the following information clearly indicated:

  • The first and last name of the award holder;
  • The name, full address (including city, country and postal code) and phone number of the EA.

Note: The cost of baggage insurance must be borne by the award holder.

4.5 Travel Allowance

For the award holder’s first trip to Canada, or for any authorized travel during the award holder’s stay in Canada, the EA will pay the award holder an advance to cover travel expenses. These advances are based on the amounts shown in the National Joint Council Travel Directive (the Directive). More specifically, the clauses applicable to the award holder are those that refer to the “traveller.” However, some clauses apply strictly to persons employed in the public service of Canada and therefore do not apply to award holders.

4.6 Installation Allowance

An installation allowance is a lump sum paid only once to the award holder within thirty (30) days of his arrival. This allowance is granted for stays of several months, in addition to the monthly living allowance.

4.7 Clothing Allowance

This allowance is a lump sum paid only once per award holder as needed for the purchase of clothing necessary for Canadian weather conditions.

4.8 Daily Living Allowance

Generally speaking, for a stay of a few days or a few weeks, the award holder is accommodated in a commercial establishment and receives a daily living allowance, as set out in the Directive. If the award holder stays in an establishment where meals are provided, the meal allowance is adjusted accordingly, with the approval of the Global Affairs Canada project officer. In such cases, award holders are not entitled to an installation allowance.

However, if the award holder spends several months in the same city, it may be more cost-effective to rent a furnished apartment in a commercial building, or an apartment or residence in an educational institution. In such cases, the EA helps the award holder find such accommodations and pays him the daily living allowance set out in the Directive. The installation allowance may be paid when required.

4.9 Monthly Living Allowance

Award holders staying in Canada for ten (10) months or more are entitled to a monthly living allowance, calculated based on statistical data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and updated annually by the Department, typically in the summer.

4.9.1 Research Activities

If students carry out a research activity in the recipient country for a duration equal to or less than three (3) months, they continue to receive their monthly living allowance because they are assumed to be maintaining their accommodations in Canada. However, if the stay is more than three (3) months, the monthly living allowance is reduced for the duration of the stay. The research activity must be approved by the Global Affairs Canada project officer. A stay in the recipient country must under no circumstances exceed six (6) months.

4.10 Tuition Fees

All mandatory costs associated with admission and tuition in an educational institution are eligible. For short-term training, the costs of a custom-made program, including teaching material can be covered with prior approval from Global Affairs Canada project officer.

4.11 Costs of Computer Equipment

Expenses associated with the purchase of a computer and mandatory software for the training program are eligible upon submission of receipts. The Department reserves the right to limit the allowable amounts to a ceiling it deems necessary based on existing financial policies within the Department. The EA must tell award holders to consider compatibility with computer systems used in the recipient country when choosing computer equipment in Canada. The EA must also inform award holders that they are solely responsible for any computer maintenance costs and customs charges.

For computer purchases, the EA must ensure that the award holder obtains two estimates before making a choice and that the purchase is made from a licensed retailer rather than an individual.

4.12 Book Costs

The cost of books required for courses is eligible upon submission of receipts.

4.13 Other Expenses Related to the Training Program

To be eligible, all other expenses must be essential to the training program and will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts. These expenses may include the purchase of research material and equipment, participation in conferences or conventions, and field research.

4.14 Emergency Family Travel

In exceptional circumstances, emergency family travel may be approved by the Global Affairs Canada project officer provided that it does not jeopardize or delay the training program.

Emergency travel may be approved in the event of the death or likely death in the short term of a member of the award holder’s immediate family, that is, father, mother, legal spouse or child shared with the legal spouse. The Department will require a death certificate.

International return air travel is to be arranged at the most economical fare and by the most direct route between the training location in Canada and the international airport of the home country.

4.15 Costs Associated with the Death of an Award Holder

Reasonable costs, not covered by the award holder’s insurance, for returning the body to the recipient country or the costs of burial or cremation in the country where the death occurred are eligible.

4.16 Summary Table of Costs Covered in a Training Program for Students and Trainees

Medical examinations and visas (ref. 4.1)Eligible expenses upon submission of receipts.
Health care
(ref. 4.2)
Eligible expenses as specified in the health care plan offered to the award holder.
The Department reimburses the costs of medical insurance coverage (basic plan) for award holders, up to $150 per month in Canada.
International air travel
(ref. 4.3)
Eligible expenses. By the most direct route in economy class at the most cost-effective rate.
Shipment of personal effects
(ref. 4.4)
Travel to Canada: no freight, baggage limit allowable by airline company, no additional expenses eligible.
Travel back home:
  1. Stay ≥ 10 months: air or sea freight of up to 250 kg or 325 kg including packaging
  2. Stay < 10 months: no freight, except in exceptional circumstances
  3. A single freight shipment permitted.
Travel allowances
  1. Internationally
  2. In Canada
(ref. 4.5)
According to the clauses* in the Directive.
*Clauses referring to “travellers” rather than persons employed in the public service of Canada.
Installation allowance
(ref. 4.6 & 4.8)
$600 (lump sum paid only once): for award holders staying several months.
Clothing allowance
(ref. 4.7)
$350 (lump sum paid only once, when required.)
Daily living allowance
(ref. 4.8)
According to the clauses in the Directive.
Applicable to trainees and members of a technical mission only.
Monthly living allowance
(ref. 4.9)
$1,000 (basic amount). As per the amounts specified in
Update of the monthly living allowances
Applicable to students only.
Tuition and vocational or technical skills training costs
(ref. 4.10)
Eligible expenses upon submission of receipts. Ceiling established by Department.
Computer equipment*
(ref. 4.11)
Maximum amount of $1,500 where required for the training program and upon submission of receipts. Computer equipment is the property of the award holder.
(ref. 4.12)
Maximum of $600/academic year or $300/session. Actual and reasonable expenses eligible for the purchase of books required for the training program and upon submission of receipts.
Participation in conventions or conferences*
(ref. 3.5)
Limits for the entire duration of the training program:
Undergraduate students and trainees: $500
Graduate students: $1,000
1 convention or conference per fiscal year.
Field research*
(ref. 3.5)
Stay ≤3 months: monthly allocation maintained
Stay >3 months: monthly allocation = $500/month (duration of stay)
Maximum duration: 6 months
Other expenses related to the training program
(ref. 4.13)
Maximum of $6,000 for the entire duration of the training program. Actual and reasonable expenses eligible if essential for the training program and upon submission of receipts. These expenses include purchase of computer equipment, participation in conventions or conferences (registration fees, accommodation and living expenses) and field research. Travel expenses (travel and travel allowances) are charged to the “Transportation” and “Travel” budget items.
Emergency family travel
(ref. 4.14)
Return travel with prior approval from the Global Affairs Canada project officer in the event of the death or likely death in the short term of father, mother, legal spouse or child shared with legal spouse (see section 4.3).
Death of the award holder
(ref. 4.15)
Eligible expenses not covered by the award holder’s insurance for returning the body to the home country or for burial or cremation in the country where the death occurred.
Approved dependants
(ref. 2.10.2)
Applies to some programs only.

*These expenses fall under the “Other expenses related to the training program” budget item and are therefore included in the $6,000 limit, which cannot be exceeded for the entire duration of the program.

All of the costs listed above are in Canadian dollars.



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