IEC Canada Health and Repatriation Insurance | Super visa insurance, Visitors to Canada insurance, Seniors travel insurance, Snowbird medical insurance

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IEC Canada Health and Repatriation Insurance

International Experience Canada (IEC) Insurance Requirements 2019

Travellers planning to visit Canada for up to two years on the International Experience Canada program (Working Holiday visa or IEC visa) are required to have private travel insurance which meets the government of Canada's basic IEC visa insurance requirements.

According to the government of Canada's CIC website concerning IEC requirements, the insurance must cover health and hospitalization expenses, as well as repatriation costs in the event of a death or emergency return to one's home country.

The insurance is to be held in place for the entire duration that someone remains in Canada under their IEC visa, regardless of whether they become covered by a provincial government health insurance plan (GHIP). Specifically, the CIC states that: 

 "The border services officer may ask you for proof of health insurance. 
  You may be refused entry if you do not have insurance. Your insurance must cover:

  • medical care
  • hospitalization
  • repatriation (returning you to your country in the event of severe illness, injury or death).  


"CanadaWhen you arrive at the port of entry, you must have health insurance valid for your entire stay in Canada. Having a valid provincial health card is not enough. Repatriation is not covered by provincial health insurance.

If your insurance policy is valid for less than your expected stay, you will be issued a work permit that expires at the same time as your insurance. If this happens, you will not be able to apply to change the conditions of your work permit at a later date."

Private Travel Insurance for IEC

Private travel/health insurance plans for visitors to Canada - such as those required by IEC travelers - cover emergency medical expenses that are paid for accidental injuries or emergency illnesses. There are always restrictions and limitations when it comes to private plans (for example, no expenses will be paid for someone that injures themselves while intoxicated, or knew that they would need to seek medical attention before purchasing, etc), whereas GHIP coverage does not have these same restrictions and limitations.

But GHIP coverage will not cover repatriation costs - and because there is no requirement to enroll in provincial GHIP plans (and IEC visa holders need to meet certain employment conditions in order to enroll), and because it often takes several months before GHIP coverage begins after enrolling (in provinces such as BC, Ontario and Quebec) the IEC program for those entering Canada requires private insurance during your entire stay in Canada. 

Private travel insurance does cover some things that provincial GHIP plans do not. In addition to repatriation benefits designed to help take a deceased traveler back to their home country, or to return a traveler to their home country in the event of an emergency illness, private plans will pay for ambulance expenses (not usually covered by provincial GHIP!), expenses incurred during side trips outside Canada, non-emergency expenses related to hospital visits by injured/sick or their family members, etc. 

Canada's International Experience Canada (IEC) program 'secures bilateral reciprocal youth mobility arrangements and agreements with different countries around the world to make it easier for you to travel and work in other countries for up to two years'. If you are a young Canadian participating in the IEC program, please see our Working Holiday Visa page.

For visitors to Canada under the IEC program, work permits are available to young people aged 18-35 who are from one of the (over 30) countries that have a bilateral agreement with Canada. Each country has its own list of application requirements. Some countries such as Brazil and Argentina do not have a bilateral agreement, but citizens of such countries can still apply for an IEC visa for up to one year by using a Recognized Organization.  Visas should be applied for before travelling to Canada. 

Upon arrival in Canada, IEC program participants will be asked to present their passport and visa, proof of funds for living expenses and proof of comprehensive insurance coverage before receiving their work permit. The IEC work visa will only be issued for the length of time that the traveler can show insurance coverage. So don'e expect to receive a two year IEC visa with only one year of insurance coverage.

Please also note that, while a Recognized Organization may be able to assist you with the IEC application, you are not required to use them to purchase the VTC health insurance (and can do much better by looking at the options listed on this website).

Get a free instant quote to research Canadian IEC insurance options:

The quote engine on the left-hand side of this page allows travellers to get a free instant quote and view a list of available policies under the 'IEC Visa Insurance' category, and then purchase a policy online. Useful policy information (prices, benefits, important secondary benefits, refund policies, etc.) that you can review and compare is provided on the quote presentation page. If you came to this website to research your insurance options, you can't really do that without getting a quote!

Start by choosing 'IEC Visa Insurance', and 'Emergency Medical', then choose the dates that match up with your intended stay in Canada and provide the traveller's date of birth and email address - and the quote will appear instantly (we'll also email you a link to your quote for future reference). If you have any problems receiving a quote, or have some specific questions you need to ask (about pre-existing medical conditions, sports coverage, etc.), don't hesitate to call us (1-888-888-0510).

After purchasing online, confirmation of coverage and policy document(s) will be emailed to you as soon as your purchase is processed. We suggest that you (or a family member) keep a copy for your records, and also print out a copy and carry it with you to show as proof of insurance at the border when you enter Canada.

Two Year Insurance for IEC Canada - Working Holiday!

While most working holiday insurance policies are only available for up to 12 or 18  months, BestQuote Travel Insurance Agency's quote engine has several IEC policies that are available for up to two years at a time, which means that you are from Ireland, the UK, France, Australia, Portugal or New Zealand (max 23 months) - you can receive a two-year visa - eliminating the uncertainty of needing to re-apply for any visa extension! 


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From Wellington, New Zealand. Good customer service. Did not take long for someone to answer customer line and answer the query.
From Auckland, New Zealand. Thanks, good service. Helpful explanations specific to questions I had about the products and relation to my visa
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