Health care coverage for temporary residents

If you are from outside Alberta or Canada, find out if you are eligible for AHCIP coverage.


Learn about health care coverage for students – foreign and out of province.

Residents from another country

If you are from outside Canada, to be eligible for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage, you must:

  • establish residency in Alberta
  • intend to live in Alberta for 12 consecutive months
  • have the appropriate Canada entry documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Acceptable Canada entry documents include:

  • active work permit (minimum 6 months)
  • study permit or visitor record for Alberta
  • designation as a Convention Refugee with accompanying documentation

Not all IRCC or CBSA permits qualify the permit holder for health care insurance coverage in Alberta.

Until you are eligible for AHCIP coverage, you will have to pay for all health care services you get. Learn about eligibility for AHCIP coverage.

Learn how to apply for AHCIP coverage.

You will not be denied emergency medical care in Alberta even if you do not have medical insurance.

Travel or visitor-to-Canada insurance

Before you come to Canada, you should purchase travel or visitor-to-Canada insurance from a private insurance company. If you are denied AHCIP coverage, we recommend you get private insurance.

If you pay for health services, you will have to apply for reimbursement from your insurance company.

Canadian children of parents not eligible for AHCIP coverage

If a child is a Canadian citizen and the parent has established residency in Alberta and intends to remain in Alberta, the child might be eligible for AHCIP coverage, regardless of their parent’s eligibility.

Requirements for eligible children

Children of parents not eligible for AHCIP may be eligible if:

  • the child has a Canadian birth certificate or Canadian citizenship card/certificate
  • the parent claims intent to live in Alberta for a minimum of 12 months
  • the parent provides proof of Alberta residency
  • the child is not claiming residency or obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another province, territory, or country
  • the child or parent is not a tourist, transient, or visitor to Alberta

If you and your child meet these requirements, you can apply for AHCIP coverage on your child’s behalf.

To apply, complete the Application for AHCIP Coverage: Canadian Children of Non-Eligible Parents and take it to a participating registry with your identification.

Temporary workers

Temporary workers from outside Alberta – Canadians or permanent residents

If you come to Alberta to work, but maintain your home in another province or territory and return home regularly, you should maintain your health insurance coverage in your home province or territory.

Temporary workers from outside Canada – Work permit

If you come to Alberta on a work permit, you must establish residency and intend to stay in Alberta for 12 months or longer.

To qualify for AHCIP, the minimum acceptable work permit length is 6 months.

Learn how to apply for health coverage and the documents you need.

Expiry date on your personal health care card

If you are a temporary resident from outside Canada with AHCIP coverage, there is an expiry date printed on your Alberta personal health care card. It should be the same date as the ‘valid until’ date noted on your Canada entry document. Your coverage will end on that date.

Renewed or extended entry documents

AHCIP coverage is valid from the date you establish residency in Alberta or the date your Canada entry document is signed, whichever is later, until the expiry date on the document that was included with your AHCIP application.

If you continue to live in Alberta and your document has been renewed or extended, take your new document to a participating registry for processing. If you are not able to visit a registry, you may fax it to the AHCIP office.

Paying for health care while waiting for a new Canada entry document

If you are not eligible for AHCIP coverage, you are responsible for the cost of health services received.

When you get your new document from IRCC, if it has ‘restored’ or ‘maintained’ noted in the remarks area, your AHCIP coverage may be reinstated and backdated to the date your coverage was cancelled.

If you were eligible for AHCIP coverage on the date an insured health service was received, you may be reimbursed for the service.

To get a reimbursement, contact the office where you received the health service, give them your personal health number and ask them to submit a claim as ‘payment to patient’.

Eligibility while waiting for permanent residency status

To be eligible for AHCIP coverage while waiting for your Permanent Resident (PR) confirmation from IRCC, you must have a valid Canada entry document or a letter from IRCC indicating a ’positive first decision’ or 'approval in principle' has been made regarding your application for permanent residency. This letter is not confirmation your application was received.

If you receive a positive first decision letter from IRCC and your AHCIP was cancelled, send a copy of the document along with your completed AHCIP application and other required documents to the AHCIP office.

Your AHCIP coverage can be reinstated to the date of the positive first decision letter but not earlier. Learn how to apply for health coverage and the documents you need.

If your Canada entry document is about to expire and you have not yet received a new Canada entry document or positive first decision letter, you may be eligible for a one-time only 90-day temporary extension of your AHCIP coverage.

Apply to extend your stay in Canada as the process of being approved for PR may take several months or years.

Note, not all Canada entry documents are accepted for eligibility under the AHCIP.

Expired permits or records

Expired temporary work or study permits or visitor records

If you intend to remain in Alberta, make sure you apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) early for an extension of your Canada entry document or current IRCC document before it expires even if you have applied for permanent resident status.

If you are a temporary foreign worker and have received an acknowledgment letter from IRCC that confirms you are authorized to continue working with the same conditions until a specific date, we will accept that letter as a new permit and continue to provide AHCIP coverage to the date stated. These letters can be taken to a participating registry for processing, but must accompany your latest work permit. If you have family members who have applied to extend their IRCC documents, bring confirmation their applications were received by IRCC so they may be extended as well.


If your immigration document is expiring soon or has expired, you may be provided with an extension of your AHCIP coverage while you wait for your new document from IRCC. You must:

  • be currently living in Alberta
  • be recently enrolled in AHCIP coverage
  • have not received a denial from IRCC regarding your application to extend
  • be able to provide the date of application and the application number from IRCC that confirms you applied to extend your work or study permit or visitor record before the expiration date

If you meet the above criteria, contact AHCIP. The first extension is up to 90 days. If you received a letter from IRCC denying the extension, you must contact AHCIP to have your coverage cancelled.

Temporary foreign workers who have reached the end of their 90-day extension may be eligible for a second extension up to 90 days if they:

  • are still working
  • have not received a letter denying the new permit

 To request a second extension, email [email protected] and include:

  • confirmation of your employment – your most recent pay stub and a letter from your employer confirming that you will continue working there. Submit this information no earlier than one week before your coverage expires.
  • a copy of the confirmation from IRCC that they received your request to extend
  • any other information that may be pertinent

Note, applying for Permanent Resident Status alone does not grant you an extension of your AHCIP coverage.

When you receive your new work permit, please take it to one of our participating registry offices  for processing.