Info for Out-of-Province Students

As a student, you are not required to become a BC resident within the 90-day period normally required by the BC government. You may keep your permanent residence within your home province if you’d like.

OSAP Funding

Coming from Ontario: If you have OSAP from undergrad, get your forms to NCSLC as soon as possible so that they don’t start expecting payments in November. Download the “Continuation of Interest-free Status” form from the OSAP website. You then have to get the form authenticated by the Student Awards & Financial Aid office (it is on the 2nd floor of the University Centre) and they will send it to OSAP for you. Alternatively, you may apply for OSAP as usual.

Bringing a Car

If you’re bringing a car from out of province, the process is different depending on whether or not you choose to become a BC resident. If you plan on staying here for an extended period, you may want to become a BC resident and change your driver’s license and insurance to be BC issued. Alternatively, you can keep the license and insurance for your home province. The process is shorter, but you will need to renew each semester (and you may get more suspicious looks for parking outside your house in a “Residents Only” spot). This may be an ideal option if your insurance is cheaper in your home province (*cough*Alberta*cough*).

Changing Your License and Insurance to British Columbia

This process is a bit more complex, you need to first get a BC driver’s license, which is done at an ICBC and requires proof of driving experience issued by your home province. While you’re making an appointment at ICBC, we suggest that you also apply for a health card (BC Services card). Information on doing this can be found here. The next step is to insure your car; you will need to have a provincial safety inspection conducted on the car (it will cost ~$150). This can be done at several locations; to name a few there’s Canadian Tire, BCAA, Victoria Transmission and Auto Care, among many others. Appointments are fairly scarce so book it early! You cannot insure your car if it fails the inspection (and you’ll have to pay for a new one) so make sure your car is in good condition; the most common way to fail is by having a large chip or a long scratch on your windshield. Once your car passes the inspection, the next step is to register and insure it. Here in BC, insurance is a bit strange, there’s the mandatory ICBC basic insurance which includes your registration, then there’s additional optional coverage sold to you by the broker you choose. Make an appointment with any BC car insurance broker and figure out what coverage fits your needs. Warning: BC car insurance is typically more expensive than most other provinces (particularly Alberta).

Keeping Your License and Insurance for Your Home Province

You will need to apply for an exemption from licensing and insuring your car in BC. The application needs to be completed within 30 days of moving here and requires you to submit your letter of enrolment, proof of vehicle ownership, and proof of vehicle insurance (don’t sweat if you miss the 30 day deadline, they won’t deny your application, but if you get pulled over after 30 days without an exemption it will not be a fun time). All information can be found here. Note that you need to renew this exemption every semester by repeating Steps 3 and 4 (web form and email) with your proof of enrolment for the new semester. You do NOT need to repeat Steps 1 and 2 (Financial Responsibility Certificate and 30$ fee) when you renew the license.

Health care

Keeping your Ontario provincial healthcare

Ontario residents who leave the province for full-time studies can maintain their primary health coverage through OHIP. You can also continue to use Extended Health coverage from your parents who live in Ontario if you are still eligible under their plan (usually an age requirement).

Before you move to BC, you need to visit a ServiceOntario centre to notify them that you are leaving for full-time studies and would like to maintain your OHIP coverage. More information on this is available here.

If your Ontario health card is about to expire, you can renew online without having to go back to Ontario!

Keeping your Alberta provincial healthcare

As a student, you can also keep your Alberta health care, as long as you “intend” to return to Alberta after you finish your degree. If you are under 25, you can stay under your parent’s plan, including any of their extended coverage. Once you turn 25, you can still get the basic Alberta health insurance, but you will not be able to get your parent’s extended coverage, and you should contact Alberta Health to get set up with your own plan (takes about 30 seconds). You will need to mail Alberta Health a letter every year stating that you are currently a full-time student. This letter needs to be on official UVic letterhead but does not necessarily need to come from the registrar. The graduate secretary should be able to make this letter for you. This letter can be sent anytime starting in September but must be received by Alberta Health by November.

Keeping your Québec provincial healthcare

Québec residents are allowed to keep their provincial healthcare whilst living out of the province when they are students. There is a procedure to inform the Québec government of your departure, the following link outlines what you need to do.

Getting BC provincial healthcare

If you need to purchase health insurance while you are living in BC, there are three different kinds of insurance you’ll need to obtain:

1. Basic health care — this is automatically provided through BC’s Medical Services Plan (MSP). You can apply here.

2. Extended healthcare

3. Dental care

Numbers 2 and 3 are automatically provided by the University. You can find more information about it on the GSS website. If you don’t want them, you’ll have to Opt Out, but you’ll have to have equal coverage to do this. More information about healthcare can be found on our Wellness & Inclusivity page.