As an international visitor with a work visa, what health care do I have access to?

International travelers with a work visa are eligible for health coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) after 90 days of working full-time in Ontario. You have two options to apply for OHIP:

  1. Wait until you have been working for 90 day (3 months) and apply; OR
  2. Apply when you arrive and have your card mailed to you after you have been here for 90 days

When you apply you will need to bring a proof of address, identity document (passport), work permit, and a letter from your employer saying when you started work, that you are working full time, what your occupation is and how long you will be employed.

Once you are covered by OHIP you will be able to access care without any cost to you. In the meantime, you might want to reach out to a community health centre near you to see if they are taking new patients and ask how you can become a patient once you have received OHIP. Rainbow Health Ontario’s Service Provider Directory can help you find an affirming provider in Ontario.

The travelling with Medication area of the Government of Canada’s website is a useful resource. Before you come to Canada, you might want to see if your doctor can prescribe three months worth of any hormones you are taking as part of gender therapy.

Remember to leave your medication in its original pharmacy or hospital packaging. If you only have 50 days and need coverage in the meantime, it’s possible you’ll have to pay out of pocket to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic. Regardless, having a copy of your prescription and also a letter from your physician in your country of origin, if possible, will be helpful.

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