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The Canada Health Care System is also known as Medicare, this system is a national health insurance program. The formal concept for the insurance system is offered by the Canada Health Act and the health insurance legislation of the individual provinces and territories. However, the word has been used with respect to Canadian public health insurance since the early 1960s.

Under the supervision of the Canada Health Act, the provinces and territories provide all residents with health insurance cards, which authorize the bearer to receive free medical care for almost all procedures.

People can be eligible for health care treatment and services in Canada, if they have a permanent residence status. Some refugees are permitted permanent resident status while in Canada and they are eligible for health care.
Keep in mind that there is a 3-month waiting period from the moment you arrive in Canada (if arriving as a permanent resident) before you are eligible for health care. You should acquire private health insurance for that three-month period.

In order to apply for health care in Canada, you will need to fulfill at least three of the following requirements:

For Permanent Residents / Landed Immigrants:
  • Canadian Immigration Identification Card.
  • Confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292 Form).
  • Permanent Resident Card.
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000 Form).
  • For Other Immigration.

For Stateless Persons:
  • Letter from Immigration and Refugee Board confirming Convention Refugee or Protected Person status.
  • Protected Person status document.
  • Temporary Resident Permit (restrictions apply).
  • Work Permit (restrictions apply).
  • Written confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that you have applied for permanent residence in Canada and have passed the immigration medical exam.
  • Your passport and landed immigrant papers / permanent resident card.

For province specific regulations:
  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or landed immigrant, convention refugee, or are registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
  • You have presented an Application for Permanent Residence or an Application for Landing and have been confirmed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as having satisfied the medical requirements for landing.
  • You are a foreign worker who holds a valid work permit or employment authorization which names a Canadian employer situated in Ontario and your prospective occupation and is valid for at least six months.
  • You are a foreign clergy member who will be providing services to a religious congregation in Ontario for at least six months.
  • You hold a Temporary Resident Permit or Minister's Permit with a case type 80 (for adoption only), 86, 87, 88 or 89.
  • You are the spouse, same sex partner, or dependent child (under 19 years of age) of a foreign clergy member or eligible foreign worker who is to be employed in Ontario for a period of at least three consecutive years.
  • You hold a work permit or employment authorization under the Live-In Caregivers in Canada Program or the Foreign Domestic Movement.
  • You have been issued a work permit or employment authorization under the Caribbean Commonwealth and Mexican Season Agricultural Workers Program administered by the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration.
  • And you make your permanent and principal home in Ontario.
  • And you are in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately following the date you establish residency in Ontario (you cannot be absent for more than 30 days during the first 6 months of residency).
  • And you are in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period.


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