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International Experience Canada (IEC) Insurance

International Experience Canada - Insurance Requirements

Travellers visiting Canada on a Working Holiday visa or IEC visa can now receive insurance quotes for up to two years showing all of the available Canadian policies (along with two USA policies), that meet the basic IEC insurance requirements. Specifically, the required 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) or an employer's supplemental health plan (in Canada, employer plans are sometimes available to employees that are covered by provincial health plans and add supplemental coverage such as dental benefits, prescription medication, expenses for eye exams, glasses, etc.).

Private health plans for visitors to Canada such as those required by IEC travelers (qet quote to see available plans) cover emergency medical expenses that are paid to address 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. 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 insurance during your entire stay in Canada. 

Private insurance does cover some things that provincial GHIP plans does not. In addition to repatriation benefits designed to help take a deceased traveler back to the home country, private plans pay for ambulance expenses (not usually covered by provincial GHIP!), expenses incurred during side trips outside Canada (read the policy wording), 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 (which you can find through link). 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. 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.

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

Useful policy information (prices, benefits, important secondary benefits, refund policies, etc.) that you can review and compare is provided on the quote presentation page (click on the 'summary' button), which is displayed after completing the quote request form on the left-hand side of this 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, 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 visa holders from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France or Australia and New Zealand!

While most of the insurance policies are only available for up to 365 days, we do have several policies that are available for up to two years at a time, which means that you can receive a two-year visa stamp - eliminating the uncertainty of needing to re-apply for a visa extension! 

So what's the lowest cost option? We have found one US-based company that will issue policies for two years - but only if you will not be travelling to the USA. Travellers under 30 can get $50,000 coverage for two years with a $250 deductible from $578 (US)!!.

One of the main differences in policies is sports coverage. On your quote, click on the 'summary' and scroll down to compare exact sports coverage/exclusions directly from the policy wording(s). Unfortunately, the BestQuote USD policy is not available if you are physically located in Canada, Australia or some US states at the time of purchase (it also takes us up to 24 business hours to issue the second year of coverage). Some of our clients stay overnight in the US in order to have this policy issued, and Australian and New Zealand travellers often buy it on their way to Canada.

Travellers from Ireland, the United Kingdom, or other EEA Countries such as France can get a quote for coverage for a two-year policy.