Author: Melissa A.
Published: August 26th, 2021 | Updated: March 21st, 2023
Read time: 7 mins
Visitor to Canada Travel Insurance (also known as “VTC”) offers coverage to travellers visiting Canada for an array of reasons. These reasons range from vacationers and tourists, visiting family members, those with work or student visas, or returning Canadians waiting for their Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) to take effect.
Insurance coverage for visitors to Canada (VTC) offers various levels of emergency medical coverage while visiting Canada. No one plans for an emergency, but the unexpected can – and sometimes does – happen. We recommend that travellers like you protect yourselves against the unexpected by purchasing the right coverage for your trip. Also, most policies will offer coverage for side visits to the U.S. should you want to take a quick trip over the border.
A super visa (also known as a parent and grandparents super visa) may be required if you are looking to spend an extended amount of time with your family in Canada. When getting a quote, be sure you are requesting the correct coverage limit required for your visa. For more information about super visas, please refer to our dedicated page or visit the Government of Canada’s super visa webpage.
Is travel insurance essential for visitors to Canada?
Trip insurance for visitors to Canada is strongly recommended no matter what your reason for travel, which may include visiting, working, studying, or returning to Canada as a Canadian resident.
If you are a Canadian resident, you are covered by your provincial or territorial Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP), but if you are a visitor to Canada, you are not eligible for enrollment in a GHIP. Therefore, you are strongly advised to carry your own travel insurance for trips to Canada that will contain medical coverage.
Should a medical emergency arise, and you do not have travel insurance travelling to Canada, you will have to pay out of pocket for your medical expenses. Hospital and physician care, ground and air ambulance transportation services, and prescription drugs while travelling abroad can be expensive.
Do visitors to Canada need health insurance?
Visitors to Canada are not eligible for enrollment in a provincial or territorial Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) available to residents of Canada. Therefore, if you are a visitor, you are strongly encouraged to buy travel insurance with medical coverage to cover the cost of any medical expenses that you may incur while visiting Canada.
How much does travel insurance for visitors to Canada cost?
The cost of travel insurance can vary and is mainly based on the age of each insured person, the coverage limit, and the length of the trip. Most insurance providers offer emergency medical coverage per person from CA$50,000 to as high as CA$500,000.
What is the best travel insurance for visitors to Canada?
The best travel insurance is dependent upon your unique details as a traveller and your travel plans. When comparing insurance policies, always be sure to read the fine print and understand the details. When applying for a visa to enter Canada, be sure to check your visa application for any minimum coverage requirements that your insurance policy must cover.
At InsureMyTrip, we have carefully selected a variety of providers to offer you some of the top insurance products for you to choose from. When you compare travel insurance for visitors to Canada and review your options, we encourage you to look beyond price to make sure you are purchasing the right coverage for your travel plans.
Should you have any questions, you can always call us. Our Customer Care team will be happy to help you read through the fine print of your policy and explain the terms, conditions, and exclusions.
Who can travel to Canada?
To find out if you are eligible for entry into Canada, please review the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories webpage. This information is subject to change at any time, so please make sure you check twice before travelling overseas, once when planning your trip and a second time before your trip to Canada.
When travelling to Canada you may require either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), whereas another traveller may only require a valid passport. One simple way to find out what documentation is required to travel to or through Canada is to visit the Government of Canada website to answer a few questions.
Permanent residents (also known as “PR”) of Canada require a valid PR card when travelling to Canada by public transit (plane, train, bus, or boat) or transiting through a Canadian airport. Please visit the Government of Canada website to find out more about travelling to Canada with PR status.
What are the visa requirements for Canada?
A visitor visa (also called a Temporary Resident Visa) is an official document to be included with your passport that shows you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.
There are several countries whose residents require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to board their flight to Canada. The list of visa-exempt travellers can be found here. However, travellers from these countries do not need an eTA if entering by land or sea. For example, if you are a traveller coming from the U.S. by bus, train, or boat, including cruise ship.
Most travellers require a visa or an eTA to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport.
To apply for a visitor visa you will need to complete an application online through the Government of Canada website by using the “Come to Canada” tool, or by completing a paper application.
Before applying, be sure to confirm whether you require a visitor visa or an eTA. The entry document you need may depend on:
- the type of travel document you plan to travel with
- the country that issued your travel document
- your nationality
- how you plan to travel to Canada
Most visitors to Canada can stay in the country for up to six months. The border services officer at the port of entry may allow more or less time and will put the date you must leave by in your passport. They may also give you a document called a visitor record, which will show the date you need to leave by. If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for six months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Basic requirements for eligibility for a visitor visa include:
- a valid travel document such as a passport
- being in good health
- having no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- evidence of ties (for example, a job, residence, financial assets, or family) that will ensure your return to your home country
- agreement that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- enough money for your stay (depending on how long and where you will stay)
Are the borders to Canada closed?
No. Canadian borders are open. All travel restrictions have been lifted for return or travel to Canada.
How do I find the current wait times for the border/bridge?
The current wait times at the 26 busiest land-border crossings between the USA and Canada can be found online at the Government of Canada’s Travel Resource site.
DISCLAIMER: This guidance in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding travel insurance and the benefits which may be available. It does not guarantee coverage for any traveller. The information in this article reflects the most up-to-date information available at the time of publication. If you have questions regarding specific coverage details or available travel insurance plans, please contact our licensed customer care team.