How to extend your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Overview of process

When to apply: Immediately after receiving your new immigration document (for example, a study permit extension or a post-graduation work permit) or after arriving in British Columbia from a trip outside the province

Cost: $75 per month for study permit holders

Processing time: 1 to 2 months. Coverage begins once the MSP extension application has been processed

How: Online (recommended) or by mail. Review the UBC MSP Extension Guide.

Supporting documents: 

  • International students: Copy of valid study permit OR work permit (such as a post-graduation or spouse/partner work permit)
  • Canadian students: Copy of proof of status (e.g., Canadian PR card, a record of landing, confirmation of permanent residence letter, Canadian passport, birth certificate, citizenship card, or citizenship certificate)
  • Family members: Copy of visitor record, study permit, spouse/partner work permit, or passport stamp showing arrival date to Canada

Additional documents may be needed


Back to top

How having maintained status impacts your coverage

If you applied for a new immigration document before the old one expired, such as a study or work permit, you remain in Canada and you won’t receive the new one before your old document expires,  you will have “maintained status”. Since your  BC MSP will end on the expiry date of your current immigration document, you must take action to get health insurance coverage before your MSP expires. Without valid health insurance, you will need to pay for any health services. See how to get temporary coverage.

You might not be able to be covered under MSP until you provide proof of your new immigration document such as a copy of your study permit or post-graduation work permit, and are re-enrolled.

Back to top

Tips for the process

The easiest way to apply is online.

If you decide to submit a paper application by mail, consider using a secure mailing method such as Canada Post Xpresspost. You should also  include a cover letter—see the MSP Extension Sample Letter.

International students

If you are on implied status, include a copy of the IRCC submission confirmation (PDF) confirming that they received your application. To find your confirmation, log in to your MyCIC account. See the MSP page for more details.

Temporary BC residents (such as international students and workers) will typically be issued a non-photo BC Services Card (formerly known as “BC CareCard”). Carry your card with you as well as a digital or paper copy of your valid study permit or work permit (such as post-graduation or spouse/partner work permit).

Back to top

Get important information on MSP

Learn about how to maintain your MSP coverage, how to make payments, what happens if you will be outside of BC and more.


Back to top

If you have questions

To confirm your eligibility and coverage, contact MSP.

For all other questions related to international health insurance, contact International Programs & Services.

Back to top

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

View the guide

Back to top