I am a permanent resident of Canada. I am planning to sponsor my parents to come and live with me in Canada as permanent residents. Looking at this page, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/parents.asp it says that the sponsored parents should not seek social assistance. Does medical insurance in Canada qualify as social assistance? Does that I mean I can't get medical insurance for them after they come and settle here?

  • I assume that hit it means is that they shouldn't rely on government/taxpayer funded 'social assistance'. Private medical insurance you pay for out of your pocket should be fine.
    – brhans
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 16:10
  • cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/after-health.asp
    – mkennedy
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


In Canada the term "social assistance" is a politer synonym for welfare, which are benefits provided based on need. Provincial health insurance is a benefit available to all residents whether they "need" it or not. The rules for qualifying vary by province but it is generally available after 3 months of residence (in Ontario this is true if one is absent from the province no more than 30 days in the first 6 months); you may need to find private insurance to cover them until then if you don't want to gamble.


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