Part A—Before you receive your posting instructions

COVID-19 continues to affect our constituents.

Stay informed by visiting the Defence Team – COVID-19 website for the latest information pertinent to both public service employees and military Defence team members.

If you are a CAF member being posted, you and your family should consult the following pages for information related to postings and to COVID-19:

CANFORGENS are available on the Defence Team Intranet or by downloading the CAF mobile application.

Contact information for questions

  • Application and selection process

    Typically, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members apply for outside of Canada (OUTCAN) positions through a call-up process or by responding to an OUTCAN solicitation message.

    You can also let your career manager, chain of command, or branch/military occupation advisors know that you are interested in an OUTCAN position. Senior officials may also choose to offer you an OUTCAN opportunity.

    As with postings within Canada, no standard selection criteria for OUTCAN positions exists. For some military occupations, selection boards review applicant files to compare candidate backgrounds and skill sets. In other cases, you only need to apply. Besides performance and skill set, the following factors may influence your selection:

    • military requirements,
    • military occupation,
    • rank,
    • professional background,
    • career progression,
    • career manager proposals, and
    • host-country cultural considerations.

    The majority of OUTCAN postings allow families to accompany the member. A posting abroad should be a rewarding experience for members and their families. On the other hand, there is also the potential for stress related to culture shock, language, psychosocial and educational differences. Global Affairs Canada has information on living abroad, including information on coping with culture shock, taxation for Canadians travelling, living or working outside Canada, and voting from abroad. The Government of Canada Travel abroad web page also provides a list of related publications.

    You will find information on the OUTCAN program by consulting our "General information on the OUTCAN Program" page.

  • Screening—General

    Once the CAF considers you for an OUTCAN position, your career manager launches your OUTCAN screening process by releasing a screening message. You will get that message by e-mail. This is the start of the administrative screening process. The CAF releases most screening messages between November and February.

    While the gaining support unit plays a role in completing the screening process, it is your responsibility to complete it within the prescribed 60-day time frame. You can get assistance in tracking and accelerating the needs of outside agencies through your unit and the support unit at your future workplace. The career manager is not responsible for monitoring the progress of the screening or facilitating its completion. Get more information on the screening process on the Vice Chief of the Defense Staff (VCDS) OUTCAN support units website (available only on the Defence Team Intranet).

    You can learn about the host country for which you are screening by reading the Information by countries and territories.

  • Screening—Medical

    As part of the OUTCAN posting screening process, you and any dependents listed on your Member's Personnel Record Resume (MPRR) must complete a medical screening. Both accompanying and non-accompanying dependents need to be screened, since underlying issues with a family member remaining in Canada still present a concern for having to repatriate you and/or your family from the OUTCAN posting.

    CAF medical and dental officers conduct your medical/dental screenings, while civilian family doctors and dentists normally conduct your dependents' screenings. CAF medical and dental officers may conduct CAF members dependents' screenings in exceptional circumstances.

    You and your dependents must also meet with a CAF social worker.

    Note: Specialized medical care is not available at all posting locations abroad. This includes mental health care. If a member of your family requires specialist or long-term care, you must raise this during the screening. Omitting this detail can have significant consequences if only discovered once your family is at post. This could put your family member's health at risk and can lead to significant additional costs to the government, such as early repatriation. More information about health services while posted abroad is available under the Health tab.

  • Screening—Children’s education

    The screening process also includes children's education screening that helps verify that compatible education is available at your posting. This means an education system which provides an educational curriculum and services compatible with those normally provided without charge at schools in Ontario from junior kindergarten to secondary school graduation (or equivalent in other provinces/territories).

    You must complete the Children's Educational Screening form for all your children under the age of .

    For questions about the screening process, contact your education clerk at your gaining Unit Record Support (URS) identified on your posting message, or e-mail CEM at cemgee@forces.gc.ca. More information is on the CAF Children's Education Management SharePoint site. These resources are available only on the Defence Team Intranet.

    Do not make any financial commitments until you receive a posting message.

    Furthermore, if you have a child with special needs (such as behavioural, physical or learning) you should know that special education services offered in schools OUTCAN may be limited. Educational concerns should be discussed with the principal of the school you are considering for your children before you accept a posting.

    Fee-paying school forms

    • Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten Fee-Paying School
      • Form 8
      • School application
      • Letter from school or county stating public kindergarten is not available
      • Proof the school is inadequate, or a letter from the non-fee-paying school stating they will not accept the child
      • School invoice
      • Curriculum, program description
      • Proof of payment
      • Working Group B submission (if the school is not on the list of compatible schools)
    • Grade 1 to 12 Fee-Paying School
      • Form 9F
      • Proof the school is inadequate, or a letter from the non-fee-paying school stating they will not accept the child
      • Letter from fee-paying school stating they will accept the student
      • School invoice
      • Proof of payment
      • Working Group B submission (if the school is not on the list of compatible schools)
    • Roman Catholic (Kindergarten to Grade 12)
      • Form 9RC
      • School invoice
      • Proof the child previously attended a Roman Catholic school in Canada (if available)
      • The baptismal certificate (if the child is not christened, the baptism certificate of the parent is required)
      • Proof of payment
      • Working Group B submission
    • Home Schooling
    • Boarding School – in Canada or outside Canada (Secondary Education)

      Board and Lodging, Public School in Canada

      • Form 15P
      • Form 15RES
      • Letter of agreement for board and lodging (required for Form 15P) or a school residence contract
      • School invoice
      • Posting message
      • Proof of attendance
      • Proof of payment
      • Enrollment letter
    • Residential School outside Canada
      • Form 15FEE
      • School invoice
      • Posting message
      • Proof of attendance
      • Proof of payment
      • Accreditation of school
      • Enrollment letter
    • Post-Secondary Education – Shelter Assistance
      • Form 17
      • Proof of full-time enrollment (letter from school, students profile that specifies, "Full Time")
      • Lease if students live in an apartment
      • Letter of agreement if students live with friends/family
      • Residence contract if students live in a school residence
      • Rent receipts
      • Proof of school attendance
    • Special Education Requirements - Special Education Allowance
      • Form 11
      • Letter from the school and professional authority (education psycho-assessment)
      • Proof of tutor's professional qualifications
      • Copy of student's Individual Education Plan, Individualized Program Plan or modified education program followed in Canada
      • Copy of Educational Screening fee schedule for school
      • Proof of payment

    Children Education Management - Colorado - CANELEMNORAD 

    If you are posted to Colorado, the administrative process regarding your children's education may be a little different. Refer to: Children Education Management - Colorado - CANELEMNORAD (accessible only on the Defence Team Intranet).

    We also have more information available under the Part B, Children education allowances and benefits.

  • Steps for completing the Children’s Educational Screening
    • Step 1: Booking appointments with the child's current school principal, teachers, doctors and specialists

      You and your family must complete several sections of the Children's Educational Screening form including Part 5: Student Profile. This helps provide an overview of your child's education level and helps identify the need for any special education assessments or Individual Education Plans (for children with special needs such as physical, behavioural, or learning needs).

      For Part 5: Student Profile, you must book appointments with the current school principal, teachers, doctors, and specialists once you receive your screening message.

    • Step 2: Select a school/educational process

      When posted OUTCAN, you must review and select the nearest compatible non-fee-paying school for your children from the List of Compatible Schools. When a non-fee-paying school is not available, you can select from the list of compatible fee-paying schools. You must then contact the schools yourself. If a fee-paying school is not on the list of compatible schools, the receiving URS administration staff must prepare a Working Group B submission to ensure that you can enroll your child in that school and be reimbursed for the school fees. More information on Working Group B is available in Foreign Service Directives.

      For more information, contact the Education Clerk at your gaining Unit Record Support (URS) identified on your posting message.

      Note: You may receive your screening message after the registration deadline for compatible non-fee-paying schools. You should still apply past the deadline, as there may be some spaces available. If there are no longer spaces available, you must apply for a compatible fee-paying school or alternative schooling options and request your receiving URS clerk to complete a Working Group B submission.

      CAF Overseas Schools in Europe

      The Department of National Defence and the CAF operate two schools overseas: AFNORTH International School in Brunssum, Netherlands and SHAPE International School – Canadian Section in Casteau, Belgium. They provide children with the same level of schooling they would receive in the province of Ontario. To lessen the potential impact on a child's educational success, AFNORTH and SHAPE are staffed by Canadian teachers on loan from school boards in Canada.

      Note: AFNORTH and SHAPE, do not provide special education services and cannot accommodate students with significant learning or behavioural needs.

      Home school

      You may choose to home school your children while posted OUTCAN. Your home school plan must be based on a compatible system within Ontario. You must complete Part 6: Home schooling of the Children's Educational Screening form and submit a yearly Education Plan to Children's Education Management for approval.

      If you plan to follow an educational system outside of Ontario, you must provide the guidelines specifically to that province or territory, along with your Education Plan.

      For more information, refer to FSD 34 – Education Allowances.

      Boarding (in Canada and outside Canada)

      If lack of compatible schools or personal circumstances warrant, CEM may approve education away from a post (in Canada and outside Canada) for children in secondary school (that is, Grade 9-12 or the appropriate provincial or territorial equivalent). When approved by CEM, actual and reasonable expenses for board and lodging during the school term will be reimbursed according to the Annual Rates.

      Review the Secondary Education Away From Post but Not in Canada FAQs.

      eLearning

      eLearning can help high school level children to meet graduation requirements. Enrollment depends on the grade and age of the child, anticipated graduation date, provincial high school graduation requirements, and length of posting.

      For more information on eLearning, contact a CEM guidance counsellor. Also review the Children's Education Management Distance Learning Services FAQs.

      Post-Secondary Education

      If your child is attending a full-time post-secondary institution in Canada at your last place of duty in Canada prior to your assignment abroad, you may be eligible for shelter assistance up to and including the school year of your child's 23rd birthday. This assistance may cover up to eight months of university or nine months of college per school year. For post-secondary students, you must complete parts 1-4 of the Children's Educational Screening Form. Shelter assistance does not apply for paid co-op placements or internships.

      Review FSD 34 - Education Allowances, the Annual Rates and Post-Secondary Education in Canada - Shelter Assistance FAQ for additional information.

    • Step 3: Submitting the required screening documents to CEM

      You or the Education Clerk at your gaining URS must submit the following documents to CEM by e-mail at CEMGEE@forces.gc.ca:

      • Children's Educational Screening form;
      • last two report cards;
      • Individual Education Plan (IEP) (where applicable);
      • education reports or assessments (where applicable); and
      • screening message

      Review the Educational Screening (Posting Outside Canada) Instructions for more information.

    • Step 4: Phone interview with a CEM guidance counsellor

      After you submit the Children's Educational Screening form and other necessary documents, CEM will ask you to contact one of their guidance counsellors for a telephone interview. The guidance counsellors will assist with your child's transition to the posting location. They will also provide information and advice regarding educational options, curriculum interpretations, explanation of credit requirements, and can recommend eLearning. The guidance counsellor will e-mail you a summary of their conversation and information on the process moving forward.

      Note: The guidance counsellor will tailor the information they provide according to the selections you made on the Children's Educational Screening form. It is important that you select all potential options of interest—such as distance learning or homeschooling—to receive the information needed to make an informed choice.

      For more information, consult the Children's Education Management - Guidance Counselling Services FAQs.

    • Step 5: Documentation review by the CEM Educational Screening Committee 

      The Educational Screening Committee will e-mail the screening decision to the member. Their decision will consider all risks of educational issues and potential future challenges. The member must circulate the e-mail to their losing and gaining units.

    • Step 6: Confirmation of screening outcome by the Educational Screening Committee 

      The Educational Screening process takes approximately seven to ten business days to complete once CEM receives all required documents. Missing information or additional concerns may extend the timeline. You will receive regular updates from CEM throughout the processing of your file. You will receive decision by e-mail and will be "Green" (satisfactory) or "Red" (unsatisfactory).

      For more information, contact your education clerk at the gaining URS (available only on the Defence Team Intranet) and CEM (cemgee@forces.gc.ca).

  • Passports, visas and travelling documents

    Once you receive your screening e-mail, you should begin the process to request passports for yourself and your family. You and your family members must travel on special passports when on an OUTCAN posting. You must have appropriate visas for your host country before movers can load your Household Goods and Effects (HG and E).

    It is important that you apply for these passports and visas as early as possible in the process. Your departure from Canada depends on these documents for customs declarations. Depending on work status and posting location, you and your family members may receive different visa types. Travelling with children has more information on the requirements.

    If you have a child who is studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution, note the differences between the university schedule and the host country visa allowances. While universities and colleges in Canada traditionally take a 120-day summer break, some countries will limit your child's summer visit to 90 days without a visa. Visa application processes can be long and complex, so you and your child should plan for this in advance.

    The CAF Passport National Customer Support Office manages the special passport process, including liaison with the Passport Program at Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. The National Customer Support Office will send you an instructional e-mail once you receive your screening message. For any questions about the special passport application process, contact the national customer service office at FIN.CDAO.Specialpassport@forces.gc.ca. The support office cannot assist your family members with work visas while OUTCAN.

    In many countries such as the United States, you must have a Social Insurance Number to open a bank account, get utilities, or to sign a lease. Apply for a Social Insurance Number as early as possible in the posting process.

    Your household pets also require travel documents. Review Travel documents for your pets for more information.

    Once the screening process is complete and the relevant authorities are satisfied with the results, your career manager will provide you with a posting message which will include further administrative guidance. Posting messages are usually sent out at the end of March.

    If your screening is unsuccessful, you may ask your career manager for feedback.

    Related links:

  • Financial considerations

    IMPORTANT: Do not make any financial commitments for things such as housing or your children's education until you have completed your screening and have received a formal posting message.

    Update your budget

    Updating your budget by completing the SISIP Financial's budget worksheet is an excellent way to get ready for your posting.

    Completing the SISIP Financial's budget worksheet is an excellent way to get ready for your posting. This can be a starting point for discussing your financial situation with a financial advisor during a SISIP Financial counselling session. Schedule your session by

    If you are already struggling financially due to the challenges of serving in the CAF, you or your family can apply for financial help through Support Our Troops. CFMWS has more information on Finances and insurance  available to you.

    When completing your budget sheet, be sure to include gains or losses that are the results of Allowances. Allowance rates vary considerably according to your posting location. For example, the Canadian Forces Housing Differential (CFHD) allowance described in Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 205.453 may not be available where you plan to reside at your new place of duty. Check with your unit or base orderly room staff.

    You and every other eligible member of your family should consider getting a CF One card for access to discounts, savings, rewards, and programs exclusive to the military community. You and each member of your family can have one. This official rebate program may help you reduce some of your daily costs.

    Spousal/Partner Employment

    • Finding employment for your spouse or partner and child dependents in the host country OUTCAN may be difficult. This is due to numerous factors such as:
    • visa restrictions,
    • limited or no work permits,
    • a lack of job opportunities in certain fields,
    • inability or a difficulty to obtain required accreditation for specialized professions such as nurses, teachers, and lawyers,
    • limited local language capabilities,
    • diplomatic status restrictions, and
    • the unavailability of suitable and affordable childcare.

    To learn more, consult our Military spouse and partner employment page. CFMWS.ca also has information. Select your community and discover employment opportunities at your posting location.

    Spousal/Partner Employment Insurance

    Your spouse or partner may not qualify for regular employment insurance while you are posted OUTCAN. Find out more at Employment Insurance and workers and residents outside Canada and Employment Insurance available to Military Families.

    Income tax return

    There are tax implications you need to consider for members and your family living abroad. Here are a few examples:

    • Residency status determination for tax purposes,
    • Tax obligations,
    • Change of use of your principal residence,
    • Rental income,
    • Foreign income,
    • Investments,
    • Income splitting and
    • Credits and benefits.

    You must confirm your residency status and file an income tax return for each year you live abroad.

    Learn more about your tax obligations and the deductions that apply to your situation at:

  • OUTCAN cross-posting

    The term OUTCAN cross-posting refers to the posting of CAF members and their families from one location outside of Canada directly to another location outside of Canada.

    If you are selected for a cross-posting you must undergo a screening process, which could include medical and dental screening. This requirement applies to your family members as well.

    Understanding your storage entitlements is important when undergoing a cross-posting—you may be posted to a location with less storage capacity. A member who is cross-posted may add HG and E to their long-term storage in Canada and may also access their long-term storage under specific circumstances (described in the CAFRD when undergoing a cross-posting).

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