Residents from another country
If you are from outside Canada, you must intend to live in Alberta for 12 consecutive months and have the appropriate Canada entry documents to be eligible for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage.
Acceptable Canada entry documents include:
- active work (minimum 6 months)
- study or visitor permit for Alberta
- designation as a Convention Refugee with accompanying documentation
Not all Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) 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.
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.
Learn how to apply for AHCIP coverage.
Canadian children of parents not eligible for AHCIP coverage
If a child is a Canadian citizen and the parent is physically present 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 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 (PDF, 169 KB) and take it to an authorized registry agent with your identification.
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 intend to stay in Alberta for 12 months.
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 card
If you are a temporary resident from outside Canada with AHCIP coverage, there is an expiry date printed on your Alberta personal health card. It should be the same date as the "valid until" date noted on your Canada entry document.
Extended work permits – Minimum 6-month permits
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 work permit that was included with your AHCIP application.
If your work permit has been renewed or extended, send AHCIP a copy of the new or extended work permit to extend or reinstate your AHCIP coverage. Send a copy to the AHCIP office by mail, or bring your original documents to an authorized registry agent office.
If a copy of your renewed or extended work permit is not received, your AHCIP coverage will be cancelled on the expiry date noted on the previous work permit.
Expired Canada entry document
When your Canada entry document expires, your AHCIP coverage will end.
If your Canada entry document changes from a work or study permit to a visitor record, you may not be eligible for AHCIP coverage.
If you were given AHCIP coverage based on a stamp in your passport, a second stamp will not be accepted.
The AHCIP office requires a visitor record, work or study permit or confirmation of Permanent Resident Status from IRCC.
If you intend to remain in Alberta and wish to maintain your AHCIP coverage, contact IRCC to find out how long it takes to process your application.
Expired Canada entry document – Extensions
Make sure you apply early for an extension of your Canada entry document even if you have applied for permanent residency.
If your AHCIP coverage is about to expire and you are waiting for an extension of your Canada entry document, you may be eligible for a one-time only temporary extension.
Contact us before the expiration date of your Canada entry document.
AHCIP coverage does not continue with IRCC “implied” status
A designation of “implied” status by IRCC does not make you eligible to maintain your AHCIP coverage.
You need a new Canada entry document for your AHCIP coverage to continue. In the meantime, your AHCIP coverage will be cancelled.
However, if you remain in Alberta while waiting for your IRCC document you may be eligible for a one-time only temporary extension of AHCIP coverage.
Not all Alberta visitor records are accepted for health care insurance coverage in Alberta.
Paying for health care while waiting for a new Canada entry document
While you wait for your new entry documents from IRCC, you will not be covered by AHCIP. This means you will have to pay for any health services you need.
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.
- Send a copy of your new document to the AHCIP office.
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 permanent resident status, you must have a valid Canada entry document or a letter from IRCC indicating a “positive first decision” has been made regarding your application for permanent residency.
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 temporary extension of your AHCIP coverage.
If you are waiting for permanent residency status, we recommend you apply for an extension of your prior permit to avoid your AHCIP coverage being cancelled.
Connect with the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan office.