Health insurance policies vary from province to province.

Students planning to study in Canada should research the availability of insurance in their intended province of study. International students in Canada are required to obtain health insurance for the duration of their stay in Canada. Certain provinces offer provincial health coverage to certain international students, either for free or for a premium. In these cases, international students are usually required to apply to the province.

Are you eligible?

To find out if you are eligible for a Canadian Study Permit, fill out a free assessment form.

Study Assessment Form

Often, in cases where provincial health insurance is not available, students are required to purchase private insurance. This can often be done through their school in Canada. Institutions in provinces which do not offer provincial healthcare coverage to international students may require these individuals to subscribe to mandatory health plans, while other institutions may offer optional coverage plans.

Consult the chart below to compare and contrast health insurance policies across provinces:

Province Provincial coverage for international students? Basic requirements Further information
Alberta Yes

Minimum 12 month study permit

Minimum 12 month residence in Alberta

Holders of study permits for more than three months and less than 12 months may be eligible if they can show their intention to reside in Alberta for at least 12 months.

Students under 18 must be added to a parent or guardian’s insurance.

Must apply within 90 days of arrival in Alberta.
British Columbia Yes Minimum six month study permit Coverage begins after three months. International students are advised to apply immediately upon arrival; coverage begins on the first day of the third month following. For example, if a student arrives on August 25, his or her coverage would begin on November 1. International students should seek coverage for those three months.
Manitoba Yes

Minimum six month study permit

Minimum six month residency per calendar year
New Brunswick Yes Minimum 3 months residence in New Brunswick.

International students are required to provide the following:

  • proof of enrolment in full-time studies at a New Brunswick post-secondary institution;
  • valid study permit; and
  • date of arrival in New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador Yes Minimum 12 month study permit  
Northwest Territories Yes Minimum 12 month study permit  
Nova Scotia Yes Minimum 12 month study permit Student can apply for coverage the first day of the thirteenth month following the date of arrival in Nova Scotia as a student. The student must not have been outside the province for more than 31 consecutive days.  A student arriving in Nova Scotia in July cannot apply until August of the following year. For continuous coverage, a copy of each study permit must be submitted to Nova Scotia Health Card (MSI) and a declaration must be signed each year.
Ontario No   Most Ontario universities participate in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). International students at participating institutions must enrol in this plan, unless otherwise exempted.
Prince Edward Island No   International students are required to obtain private insurance. Institutions may offer their own coverage plans, which may be optional or mandatory. Consult the institutions for further information.
Quebec No, with exceptions  

Students from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Sweden may be eligible due to bilateral agreements between Quebec and their country.

Some student scholarships in Quebec include provision of health insurance.

Unless otherwise exempt, international students are required to obtain private insurance. Institutions may offer their own coverage plans, which may be optional or mandatory. Consult the institutions for further information.

Saskatchewan Yes Study permit and proof of full-time enrollment  
Yukon No    

Tools and Resources

Latest News

  • International Experience Canada (IEC) 2019 season now open

    The International Experience Canada 2019 application cycle is now open to many countries and new organizations have been added to the list of recognized service providers supporting Canadian youth and youth overseas with mobility opportunities. 

  • IRCC Express Entry draw invites 3,900 new candidates to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence

    Canada has issued 3,900 new invitations to apply for permanent residence status to Express Entry candidates in a draw held November 28.