Cigna International Health Insurance for Canada

cigna global International Travel Health Insurance
Moving to Canada for work, to live or study.

As one of the biggest countries in the world, there will never be nothing to do in Canada. From the great lakes, to the polar ice caps, to the bustling cities, Canada has something to offer for everyone.

Before traveling overseas, we recommend you get to know the country a little better. This guide offers information regarding everything you need to know about your journey to Canada. From the basics like language and culture, to visas and schooling, this guide will provide you with a basic understanding of life on the other side of the world.

It will prepare you with important information about your healthcare in Canada, and how to respond to health emergencies while spending time working abroad. This is a new and exciting time for you, so let us fill you in about everything you need to know before your arrival to great Canada.

Benefits below are optional:

Quick Facts …

Capital: Ottawa
Population: ≈ 32,000,000
Major languages: English and French
Major religion: Christianity
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Time zone: UTC-8, UTC- 7, UTC-6, UTC-5, UTC-4, UTC-3.5
Emergency number: 911
Electricity: 120V, 50Hz. Type A;B power sockets.
Drives on the: right

Visas …

There are several basic requirements that you must have in order to get any kind of visa in Canada. You must have a valid passport that will be in date until the end of your stay, and you must be in good health. In some cases, a medical exam will be conducted to examine your health. Residents of the US and UK don’t need a visa for short stays, but they will need one if they plan to stay in the country longer.

  • Temporary Resident Visa.
    Even if you are only planning a short stay in the country, you may need a temporary resident visa. This depends mainly on your country of origin. The first step is to contact the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country to determine the exact requirements, and then make your application if this is required. If you have a family, each member must have a valid passport, and two passport photos. The time to process this visa varies.
  • Permanent Immigration to Canada.
    There are several programs available if you would like to apply to be a permanent Canadian citizen. Depending on reason for stay, you may be required to obtain one of several different visas.
  • Skilled Workers and Professionals.
    This visa is for an individual that has skills and experience in a specific profession. They are chosen on their ability to establish themselves economically, so must be able to prove their experience in this field or have a firm offer of employment from a Canadian company.
  • Business Immigration.
    This scheme is aimed at those who are self-employed; those who want to invest in a Canadian business or who want to start their own business. Those who want to invest must have a minimum investment of C$400,000 and those who are starting their own business must prove that they can contribute economically to the country and employ local workers.
  • Quebec – Permanent Workers and Business Immigration
    The province of Quebec has its own rules for business and worker immigration. This is a two stage application. You must apply to the government of the province for a certificate of selection, which proves that they have accepted you. This is then followed by an application to the department of immigration for a residency card and to undergo criminal and medical checks. The details on how to apply to the Quebec province are provided on their government’s website, although much of the procedure is the same. You will need to prove both your work experience and language skills and provide documentation to prove your identity.
  • Canadian Experience.
    This visa is for those who have previously worked in Canada. You must have worked in the country for a minimum of 2 years, or 1 year if you graduated from a Canadian university. You must have had the correct visas authorising you to work in the country and you must apply for this either while you are still working in the country or within a year of returning to your country of origin. Applicants on this scheme are also subject to the language proficiency test. If you are married or have a partner in Canada who is also foreign-born and who qualifies for this scheme then either one of you can apply as the principal applicant.
  • Provincial Nominees.
    This is a visa run by each of the provinces, where they are able to nominate immigrants for permanent immigration if they feel they can bring some benefit to the region. The first stage of your application would be to the province of your choice. They make their decisions based on their needs, so if you are a qualified electrician and there is a shortage of skilled workers in that area then your application will be looked upon favorably. Once you have been accepted by the province you will have to make an application to the Immigration department to obtain permanent residency status and undergo the same checks as for other visas. Those who apply via the provinces are not subject to the same six point checks as for the skilled workers visa.
Schools …

Each province of Canada oversees the education of people within the province borders. There are however common aspects with the whole system.
Primary education starts at 1st grade, and continues to 6th grade. This means that children will enter at age 5 or 6 and exit around the age of 11. In secondary schools the education covers grades 7 – 12 in the majority of provinces, although Quebec is different by finishing at grade 11.

Children are obliged to attend school until the age of 16, although the mandatory leaving age in New Brunswick and Ontario is 18. Those who graduate with a high school diploma in Canada will find that many countries worldwide will accept this as a qualification. A large majority of the schools have programs that offer help to foreign students. The school day in the public school system normally starts at around 8am and ends by 3pm. Some public schools in Canada offer day or home-school programs, but this will cost at least C$10,000 a year.

In order to register your children for school, you will need to provide documentation. This will both be a passport and study permit, or if you are on a work permit, you can provide that and your passport.
Canada also has over 150 colleges and universities that your children may attend.

Health …

The healthcare system has a good standard of care and has been in place for a number of years. The standards of the system have been set by the national government, and are overseen by each of the provinces. In order to be treated, you will need to have a healthcare card. While hospitals provide a very comprehensive level of care there are some aspects of healthcare which are not covered by the Canadian health care. These include dental treatments and optical treatments. You can obtain separate insurance for these or choose to pay for them as and when you need them.

Private Medical Insurance.  If you are living, working or studying in Canada and not considered a full-time Canadian resident, you will need your own private health insurance.  Before you have permanent residency status, it is required that you obtain private health insurance. 

Extra health insurance …

Government health insurance plans give you access to basic medical services. You may also need private insurance to pay for things that government plans do not fully cover.

The most common types of plans are extended health plans. These cover costs for:

  • prescription medications
  • dental care
  • physiotherapy
  • ambulance services
  • prescription eyeglasses
  • Emergency Evacuation
Private International Health Insurance …

If you are not a permanent resident of Canada you will need a private plan to cover your health care costs for illnesses and injuries.  Hospital coverage, outpatient doctor and surgery costs, cancer treatment, maternity, prescriptions and more …  Cigna Global provides comprehensive coverage for your short, and long-term medical insurance needs wherever you may be worldwide including Canada.


  • Long Term  (6 months or longer):  Global families, Expatriates, Multinational Executives and Employees, extended vacations etc.
  • Short-Term  (few days up to 6 months)  Vacations, business trips, short-term global travel.
  • Students  International Students & Faculty – Inbound or Outbound (F-1 & J-1 Visa).
  • Vacation Insurance  Medical coverage with; trip cancellation, trip delay, lost/damaged luggage, cancelled vacation reimbursement.

Questions, please contact me anytime.

John Conner

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