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Exploring the Canadian Healthcare System: A Guide to Applying for OHIP with a PGWP

3 minute read
Moving to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One crucial aspect that newcomers to Canada need to address is healthcare coverage. In the province of Ontario, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is the key to accessing essential healthcare services. If you're a newcomer with a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), understanding how to apply for OHIP is vital for your well-being. This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining an OHIP card, understanding coverage, and managing renewals.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Nov 15, 2023
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Applying for OHIP with a PGWP:

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for OHIP coverage, you must be a resident of Ontario and be physically present in the province for at least 153 days in any 12-month period. PGWP holders are typically eligible for OHIP coverage. 

OHIP Documentation

Gather the necessary documents for your application, including your PGWP, proof of residency, and identification. Ensure that your immigration status is valid for at least six months. 

Visit a ServiceOntario Office 

Locate a ServiceOntario office near you to submit your OHIP application. Remember to bring all the required documents, and be prepared to answer questions about your immigration status and residency. 

OHIP Application Form

Fill out the OHIP application form thoroughly. Provide accurate information about your immigration status, address, and other required details. You can find the application form on the ServiceOntario website. 

Understanding OHIP Coverage:


Once your application is approved, you will receive your OHIP card in the mail. This card is your key to accessing healthcare services in Ontario. 

What Does OHIP Cover? 

OHIP provides coverage for a wide range of healthcare services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and essential medical procedures. Familiarize yourself with the OHIP schedule of benefits to understand the extent of your coverage. 

OHIP Renewal:

Keep Track of Expiry Dates 

The coverage provided by OHIP is not indefinite. Be mindful of the expiry date on your OHIP card and start the renewal process well in advance to avoid any gaps in coverage. 

Renewal Process

Renewing your OHIP coverage typically involves updating your information and providing proof of continued residency in Ontario. Follow the renewal instructions provided by ServiceOntario to ensure a smooth process. 


Navigating the Canadian healthcare system as a newcomer with a PGWP may seem daunting, but understanding how to apply for OHIP is a crucial step towards ensuring your well-being in Ontario. By following the outlined steps, gathering the necessary documentation, and staying informed about OHIP coverage, you can confidently access the healthcare services you need. Remember, a healthy newcomer is a thriving newcomer!

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