New full time international students at UVic Continuing Studies and the English Centre will be automatically enrolled in to new student services!

  • Access to UVic’s world-class athletic facility, "CARSA"
  • A bus pass valid for the duration of your studies
  • Expanded access to UVic student clubs, organizations and events
  • Medical insurance provided by guard.me@UVCS

Health insurance

The cost of health care in Canada is very high for those who do not have health insurance. Without coverage, you could be denied treatment or pay thousands of dollars each day for medical services.

As a result, in order to ensure medical issues do not cause financial difficulty or compromise academic progress, all UVic Continuing Studies (UVCS) students are required to have comprehensive coverage for the entire duration of their studies. International students will be automatically enrolled in the mandatory guard.me@UVCS international health insurance plan upon registration.

Family members who are with you in Canada should also have comprehensive coverage. You can purchase coverage for them at an additional cost.

View the guard.me@UVCS plan

The guard.me@UVic plan FAQs

The guard.me@UVCS plan provides emergency medical insurance coverage for international students who are new to UVic Continuing Studies.

This plan covers required medical services to address new and unexpected illness or injury.

Refer to the Policy Summary and the Policy Wording for information about benefits.

New international students are automatically enrolled in the guard.me@UVCS plan upon registration at UVic Continuing Studies.

If you are automatically enrolled, you will receive an ID Card and policy information from guard.me by email 2 weeks before the program starts.

You are automatically enrolled in the guard.me@UVCS plan and will be assessed a fee inclusive of your program dates from the Friday prior to your program start date to the Monday following your program end date in your UVCS student account.

The effective dates of coverage provided by the guard.me@UVCS plan are determined by when you will begin your program of study at UVic Continuing Studies.

Your coverage will be effective the Friday before your program start date until the Monday after your program end date.

Guard.me@UVCS covers students anywhere in the world except their home country, during their insurance coverage dates. This includes their transit to and from Canada, and any layover outside of their home country. The following conditions apply:

(a) More than 50% of the total Coverage Period must be spent in Canada and
(b) Travel to the United States is limited to 30 days per trip

Visit guard.me/uvcs, click Dependents and follow the instructions to purchase emergency medical insurance coverage for family members who will accompany you to Canada.

You can only submit the form to purchase coverage for your family members after you receive the ID Card and policy information for your own coverage.

If you will arrive in Victoria before your coverage is effective, visit guard.me/uvcs, click Arrive Early and follow the instructions to purchase additional emergency medical insurance coverage for a minimum of $20.00 purchase and a maximum of 30 days extension. Once purchased you will receive an email with your ID card and information about the plan.

If, after purchasing additional coverage for yourself, you also want to purchase additional coverage for your family members, visit guard.me/uvcs, click Dependents and follow the instructions.

You can only submit the form to purchase additional coverage for your family members after you receive the ID Card and policy information for your own additional coverage.

Enrolment in the guard.me@UVCS plan is mandatory unless you are covered by one of the following:

  • BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP)
  • Canadian provincial or territorial public health plan
  • Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau-sponsored plan
  • Libyan-North American Scholarship Program-sponsored plan
  • African Leaders of Tomorrow Program-sponsored plan (CBIE - Cowan Insurance Group)

If you are already covered by one of these plans, visit the guard.me/uvcs website, click Opt Out and follow the instructions.

To demonstrate proof of coverage in one of these plans, you must provide a copy of each side of your identity card. Copies of your passport, UVic ONECard, etc. will not be accepted as proof of coverage.

You can only submit the form to opt out after you receive your ID Card and policy information and before your opt out deadline:

  • The opt out deadline is one week after the policy start date.

If you submit the form before your opt out deadline and your request is approved, the guard.me@UVCS fee will be removed from your UVCS student account.

If you miss your opt out deadline, or have difficulty submitting the form, please contact Continuing Studies Student and Financial Services at uvcsguardme@uvic.ca.

You can purchase emergency medical insurance coverage that extends beyond the policy end date of your guard.me@UVCS plan if you are staying longer, for a minimum of $20.00 purchase and a maximum of 30 days extension. Once purchased you will receive an email with your ID card and information about the plan. Or you may be eligible to enrol in the British Columbia (BC) Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Check out the section below to learn more about the BC MSP.

If you are not eligible to enrol in the BC MSP, visit the guard.me/uvcs website, click Extend Coverage and follow the instructions to purchase additional emergency medical insurance coverage.

If, after purchasing additional coverage for yourself, you also want to purchase additional coverage for your family members, visit the guard.me/uvcs website, click Dependents and follow the instructions.

You can only submit the form to purchase additional coverage for your family members after you receive the ID Card and policy information for your own additional coverage.

For non-emergency assistance send an email to admindept@guard.me.

For emergency assistance dial:

Multi-lingual help is available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The BC Medical Services Plan

If you are new to Canada, apply for MSP as soon as you arrive. Your coverage may start three months after your arrival date in British Columbia. You should get private health care insurance while you wait. You can apply for MSP online, in person or by mail. Use the option that works best for you.

Apply online

The British Columbia (BC) Medical Services Plan (MSP) covers required medical services provided by physicians, specialists, diagnostic facilities, laboratory facilities, and hospitals.

Visit the BC MSP website for information about benefits.

If you intend to stay in British Columbia (BC) for fewer than six months, you are not eligible for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).

All other international students must submit an application for enrolment when they arrive in BC.

The application for enrolment is available online. If you have difficulty submitting the online form, try one of the other application options.

You will receive in the mail a Non-Photo BC Services Card with a personal health number (PHN) which will allow you to access required medical services.

The online application takes about 15 minutes to complete. The data you enter will be saved locally to the computer or device you are using up until the point that you close your browser window or submit the form. Note: If you use a screen reader or assistive device, please apply using the paper form.

You will receive in the mail an invoice for your first monthly premium and instructions for how to pay.

Please note that international students are not eligible for premium assistance, so the premium rate is $37.50 per month regardless of your income.

After you apply for the British Columbia (BC) Medical Services Plan (MSP), there is a waiting period before your coverage begins.

The waiting period consists of the balance of your month of arrival in BC plus two more months. So, if you arrive in BC any day in August your coverage will begin on November 1, but if you arrive in BC any day in September your coverage will begin on December 1.

Your BC MSP coverage expires when your temporary resident status in Canada expires. This date appears on your Canadian immigration document.

Most new international students are automatically enrolled in the guard.me@UVCS plan, which covers required medical services to address new and unexpected illness or injury during the BC MSP waiting period.

If you are moving to British Columbia (BC) from another Canadian province or territory contact Health Insurance BC by phone and ask to speak with an enrolment specialist about your options.

Check your BC Services Card.

If necessary, follow the instructions below to inform Health Insurance BC that your mailing address has changed or to extend your coverage.

Submit an MSP Account Change Request online or contact Health Insurance BC by phone to provide your new mailing address.

Your British Columbia (BC) Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage expires when your temporary resident status in Canada expires. This date appears on your Canadian immigration document.

It is very important that you start the process of extending your temporary resident status in Canada at least four months before it expires to avoid a lapse in your BC MSP coverage. Students with implied status are not covered by BC MSP.

If, when you receive your new Canadian immigration document, your BC Services Card has not yet expired, or has been expired for less than six months, submit an MSP Account Change Request online to extend your BC MSP coverage.

If, when you receive your new Canadian immigration document, your BC Services Card has already been expired for more than six months, contact Health Insurance BC by phone for instructions.

Some basic information is available on the BC MSP website.

If your BC Services Card is still valid contact Health Insurance BC by phone and ask to speak with an enrolment specialist about your options.

Some basic information is available on the BC MSP website.

If your BC Services Card is still valid submit a Permanent Move Outside British Columbia form online or contact Health Insurance BC by phone to cancel your coverage.

Instructions for contacting Health Insurance BC are available on the BC MSP website.