The province of New Brunswick has announced that publicly-funded health care is now available for international students who are completing full-time studies in the province. The announcement was made on October 6 in Moncton, New Brunswick and will come into immediate effect.
“International students make our campuses richer and more diverse, and we are proud today to extend health coverage to international students who are enrolled and pursuing studies in New Brunswick universities and colleges,” said Post-Secondary Education Minister Roger Melanson.
New Brunswick was one of few Canadian provinces that did not provide medical coverage for international students, but now the government considers this a step forward in the efforts to attract and retain students who choose the province as a study destination.
The province’s Health Minister Benoît Bourque said, “Our government knows that the availability and delivery of health services have a significant impact on the quality of life of the people of our province.
“We are proud to be able to extend health care coverage to international students and provide them with the same level of health care that their peers enjoy in Canada.”
In order to receive coverage, international students in New Brunswick must submit a completed New Brunswick Medicare application form. In addition, international students must provide the following information and documentation:
- date of arrival to the province;
- a valid study permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); and
- proof of full-time enrolment in a New Brunswick university or college.
Medicare coverage is also being extended to spouses and dependents, benefitting not only international students, but all eligible family members who come to New Brunswick.
In addition to New Brunswick, seven other provinces provide this privilege to international students. It is important for international students to prove their enrolment in full-time studies at an approved post-secondary institution for the entire academic year (September to April).
Internationals students —and their dependents if applicable— need to remain in the province for a minimum of three months prior to submitting an application for Medicare. This is a requirement that all newcomers to New Brunswick must fulfill in order to ensure that newcomers intend to stay in the province for an extended period of time.
“This development finally puts New Brunswick on a level playing field when it comes to international recruitment and will play a big part in supporting the retention and post-graduation transition of these students,” said Robert Burroughs, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance.
The government of New Brunswick has been active in its efforts to retain international graduates in the province through immigration streams under the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) and the recently introduced Atlantic International Graduate Program, a category of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP).
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