Insurance and health care for international students

All international students must be covered by health and hospitalization insurance throughout the period of their studies au Canada. This obligation is stipulated by law, and is a condition of the CAQ that you were issued. You should always carry your RAMQ or Desjardins health insurance card in case you need it. Your RAMQ card can also be used as a piece of identification.

ÉTS does not recognize private insurance coverage from your country of origin, except in the case of CBIE Scholarship recipients. Other types of insurance, including civil liability and ASEQ health and dental insurance, are optional, but they are strongly recommended. This section contains all of the information you need concerning mandatory and optional insurance.

COVID-19: special measures in short

Vaccination: International students are eligible for the Québec Government’s vaccination campaign at no cost. Click here for detailed information and to make an appointment online.

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ): As of November 2021, eligible students can register for the RAMQ online. Consult the RAMQ website for complete information, and visit the FAQ page for information concerning specific procedures related to COVID-19. 

Desjardins: Visit the insurer’s online FAQ page for information concerning special measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, the eligibility period for the Winter session begins on January 1st, but it is possible to register as of December 1 on an exceptional basis, for an addition fee of $75. Contact for more detailed information.

Consult the specific information concerning health and hospitalization insurance during the pandemic.

Desjardins insurance

As an international student at ÉTS, you are automatically enrolled in the Desjardins group insurance plan (Policy Q178, PDF, in French). You can only withdraw from the Desjardins plan if you have proof of eligibility for the RAMQ plan. Please note that this coverage is for individuals only. If any members of your family are staying with you in Québec, it is your responsibility to find private insurance coverage for them (e.g.: Desjardins Visitors to Canada Insurance – PDF, in French)

Health care coverage

The Desjardins insurance plan covers medical and hospital fees, prescription medication and a guarantee of repatriation in the case of incapacity or death. Carefully read the documents listed below, paying close attention to the exclusions and the sections pertaining to pre-existing conditions, travelling to the United States, pregnancy and HIV, as applicable to your situation.

Please note that you can consult another physician at the clinic of your choice, but these clinics generally accept the Desjardins card up front, which means that you don’t have to pay and then request reimbursement.

The cost of the Desjardins insurance plan is automatically added to your invoice for ÉTS tuition fees. Premiums vary depending on the session in which you arrive, and are subject to change on an annual basis.

Fall semester (September 1 to August 31)

  • Coverage begins: August 15 or the date of your arrival in Canada, whichever is later.
  • $900

Winter semester (January 1 to August 31)

  • Coverage begins: December 15 or the date of your arrival in Canada, whichever is later.
  • $600

Summer semester (May 1 to August 31)

  • Coverage begins: April 15 or the date of your arrival in Canada, whichever is later.
  • $300

Monthly invoicing for laboratory interns: $75 per month (for the entire month, regardless of the day on which you enrol)

Cost per semester for exchange students: $300

ATTENTION! If you arrive in Canada before the date when your coverage begins, or if you wish to extend your stay after completing your studies, you must enrol in a private insurance plan for these periods (e.g.: Desjardins Visitors to Canada Insurance).

In order to obtain your card, you must validate your enrolment by submitting your official documents to the Registrar's Office and paying the insurance fees. You can pay this amount on site using a credit or debit card. Your insurance card will not be given to you directly. The Registrar’s Office will send you the certificate number by e-mail approximately six weeks after the beginning of the session. Once you have this number, you can activate your online account. Your insurance card will be accessible with your online application. ÉTS does not issue paper copies of this card.

ATTENTION! You are still insured, even if you don’t yet have access to your electronic card. If you require medical care in the meantime, send a message to to obtain a temporary attestation of medical coverage.

You may be required to pay for a consultation at a hospital or clinic that does not appear on the list of the medical clinics suggested by the insurer (PDF, in French). To file a claim for reimbursement, you must keep the invoices you receive for any medical fees incurred:

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

If you are a citizen of a country that has signed an agreement with Québec (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden), or if you hold diplomatic status, you may be eligible for the RAMQ public health insurance plan. Eligibility for the RAMQ plan is the only exception that allows for withdrawal from the Desjardins group insurance plan offered by ÉTS.

Health care coverage

Visit the RAMQ website for information concerning the various services that are covered. Pay close attention to the health care coverage while outside of Québec if you are planning to travel or complete a co-op work term abroad during your studies. For more detailed information, contact the RAMQ directly by telephone or in person.

The RAMQ insurance plan is free, with the fees being covered in the agreement between your country and Québec. As a general rule, there are not usually any fees to pay when receiving care at a hospital or clinic. However, if fees are charged, follow the procedure outlined on the RAMQ website for requesting reimbursement.

Your health insurance card will usually have the same expiration date as your CAQ. If it does not cover the full duration of your study program, you must renew your subscription to the RAMQ plan and provide proof to ÉTS.

To remain eligible for health insurance, you must not be absent from Québec 183 days or more per calendar year. If you plan to travel or leave Québec for more than 21 consecutive days, you have to notify RAMQ of your trip to check whether you will remain eligible.

1. Obtain, fill out and sign the proof of insurance or certificate of affiliation with the health insurance plan from your country.

Bring the original of this document with you to Québec. For example:

  • Regular programs: SE-401-Q-102
  • Exchange, double-degree and joint programs: SE-401-Q-106
  • Laboratory internships: SE-401-Q-104

2. Gather all the necessary documents

  • Passport and another ID card with photo
  • Proof of your address in Montréal
  • The completed document confirming your coverage under your country’s social security plan
  • Proof of full-time enrollment at ÉTS (available from the MonETS portal > My Documents > Statement of Registration - Invoice)
  • Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for a stay of more than 6 months
    • If you only have the electronic confirmation of your CAQ, you need to immediately contact the MIFI at 514-864-9191 to request a duplicate (free of charge).
  • Your study permit or other document issued by the Canadian immigration authorities.
    • If you are studying for less than 6 months and are exempt from having a study permit, include the photo pages of your passport.

3. Register for RAMQ health insurance

Make sure you carefully read the instructions on the RAMQ website, as information is subject to change.

  • As of November 2021, international students and research interns can complete their registration online IF they are not accompanied by family members (ex : spouse, children).  To do so, you will need PDF versions of your documents.
  • If you are not eligible to complete your registration online (ex. : students accompanied by a family member, extending your stay in Canada as a worker), you will need to schedule a telephone appointment with the RAMQ.
    • Please note that appointments are added early each morning from Monday to Friday.

Other requirements:

  • Have a postal address in Montréal. Commercial addresses (hotel, youth hostel, university, etc.) are not accepted.
  • Bring $12 to pay for the photograph to be taken on site (not refundable).

4. Submit your proof of eligibility to ÉTS

E-mail or dsubmit your card or letter of eligibility for the RAMQ plan to the Registrar’s Office before the deadline for changes with refund (consult the Academic Calendar).

ATTENTION! New students who have not submitted their proof of eligibility by September 30 (Fall semester), January 30 (Winter semester) or May 30 (Summer semester) must pay the fees for the Desjardins insurance plan for the current session. If you present your card later during the session, you may be reimbursed for the coming months, but not for the preceding months. To rectify your situation, write to

During the renewal period

If your RAMQ card expires and you do not present your new card to the Registrar’s Office, you will be invoiced for the fees for the Desjardins insurance plan for the current session within the next week.

If you move, you must keep your address up to date throughout the period when you are covered by the Québec health insurance plan, especially in order to receive renewal notices. You must enter your change of address information online.

An absence from Québec could affect your eligibility for health insurance. For this reason, you have to notify RAMQ before any travel or stay of 21 days and more outside Québec.

Additional dental and health insurance

In Canada, dental care and specialized health care can be expensive. For example, a routine visit to the dentist may cost approximately $150. Except in the case of an accident, dental care and emergencies are not covered by basic health insurance plans.

In response to these needs, your student association, the AÉÉTS (in French), offers additional group insurance through the ASEQ (in French).

Dental insurance allows you to be reimbursed for between 70% and 100% of dental care fees. Consult the ASEQ dental insurance section (in French) for more information concerning the extent of your insurance coverage and to request reimbursement. The coverage period runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.

This insurance is optional, but is automatically invoiced to your file, with the exception of those who are registered in an exchange program (0469, 4023).

Attention! You can withdraw from this coverage directly through the ASEQ (in French) before the deadline, which is approximately 30 day after the beginning of the semester. Your coverage cannot be changed during a later semester. In other words, if you withdraw during the Fall session, you cannot enrol again for the Winter semester, and the Summer semester is invoiced during the winter.

International students who are covered by the RAMQ plan can register for ASEQ health, vision and travel insurance (in French), which is optional. Depending on the option selected, this insurance entitles you to overage for specialized health care (e.g.: dietician, osteopath, etc.), certain medications, vision care, vaccines and psychological services.

To register for this insurance, contact ASEQ (in French) within 30 days following your enrolment with the RAMQ. The fees will be added directly to your ÉTS invoice.

Household Insurance

The RAMQ and Desjardins insurance plans do not cover your property or any damages you may cause to the property of others. Household and civil liability insurance is mandatory if you live in the ÉTS residences.

If you live off-campus, it is strongly recommended that you obtain household and civil liability insurance. Enrolling is an individual procedure that can easily be accomplished online. You can request online quotes from various insurance companies with only a few clicks on insurance comparison sites (e.g.: ClickInsurance). You can also take advantage of a discount on this type of insurance by becoming a member of the Québec Engineers Network.

Travel and repatriation insurance

Your health and hospitalization insurance plan may or may not include travel and repatriation insurance.

If you are covered by Desjardins

The Desjardins insurance plan includes coverage outside of Québec, and offers a travel assistance service. However, you are strongly encouraged to contact Desjardins before travelling outside of the country to verify and validate the conditions in case of emergency.

If you are covered by the RAMQ

It is crucial that you consult the RAMQ website to learn about the conditions and procedures for being reimbursed for medical fees incurred outside of Québec. Contact the RAMQ directly to determine whether it better to obtain private travel insurance in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and expensive bills. If necessary, compare the rates offered by the various companies (e.g.: ASEQ travel insurance – in French).

If you are covered by Desjardins

The Desjardins insurance plan includes a repatriation guarantee in the event of complex and continuous care or in the event of death in Canada. Therefore you do not have to take out additional insurance to cover this component.

If you are covered by the RAMQ

La RAMQ ne couvre pas le rapatriement en cas d’invalidité, d’urgence ou de décès. Si vous souhaitez souscrire à une couverture de ce type, vous devrez contracter une assurance privée complémentaire. 

Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, you are covered in the case of an accident that occurs while you are on the ÉTS campus or while travelling between ÉTS and your place of residence. Contact the Prevention and Safety Office immediately in the case of an accident.

By telephone

  • From the ÉTS campus: extension 8900;
  • From outside the ÉTS campus or from the residences: 514-396-8900;
  • In case of emergency (from internal extensions only): dial 55.

In person

Go to Pavilion A (1100 rue Notre-Dame Ouest), Room A-0110.

In case of emergency: dial 911

After an intervention

After an intervention, Security Officers will prepare an accident report that can be used as a supporting document for any requests from the insurer.

To file a claim with the insurer, you must send the duly completed claim form and the required supporting documents within 90 days following the accident.

Health care in Québec

In Québec, you should contact different types of resources depending on the nature and urgency of your health issue. Some types of health care are covered by your health and hospitalization insurance plan, but others are not.

Learn how to navigate the Québec health care system. You can also consult the Santé Montréal website to determine which type of professional to consult. Emergency medical care

If an emergency occurs while on campus, dial 55 from any internal telephone to contact the Security Department (Pavilion A, Room A-0110) at any time.

If you or someone near you requires emergency assistance: Dial 911

This number will connect you directly to the fire department, the ambulance service and the police, and the dispatcher will assign the proper resources depending on the nature of your emergency.

ATTENTION! Only use this number in case of an emergency. Otherwise, you may be subject to a fine. Transportation by ambulance is not a free service, and the individual who is transported to a hospital is usually responsible for paying the costs at a later date.

Go to the emergency department

If you are able to travel, go to the emergency department of the hospital closest to you. Consult the list of hospitals (in French). Hospital emergency departments are open 24 hours per day throughout the year.

ATTENTION! Emergency departments are often crowded, and waiting times may be long. It is important to only go there if there is a real need. Non-emergency medical care.

If you need to consult a medical professional for a health problem that is not considered to be urgent, there are a variety of options available.

Consultation by telephone | Info-santé 811

This telephone service is free, confidential and accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. When you call 811, you will speak to a nurse, who can give you advice and answer your questions. The nurse can direct you to the proper resources near you (e.g.: clinics that do not require an appointment).

Consult a pharmacist

For minor health issues or questions concerning prescription medications or over-the-counter products, you can go to a pharmacy near you and speak directly with a pharmacist. To learn more about the free services available at pharmacies, consult the Santé Montréal website.

Make a medical appointment

If you require a medical appointment, there are various types of clinics where you can obtain health care: centres locaux de services communautaires (CLSC – local community health service centres), family medical groups, private clinics and hospitals.

Visit the health-wellness portal and enter your Postal Code to find the resource closest to you. Carefully read the procedures for each clinic for making an appointment or for access without an appointment.

ATTENTION! If you are covered by the Desjardins insurance plan, only certain clinics [PDF – in French] offer medical consultations free of charge. You must have your ÉTS student card, your Desjardins insurance card and the form with you. If you make an appointment somewhere else, you may have to pay the required fees and then request reimbursement later. Click on the Desjardins insurance tab for full details.

Make an appointment online (RAMQ only)

The Bonjour-santé application is a paid service ($18.95 per appointment) that allows you to make a medical appointment online within the coming hours.

If you are experiencing difficulties in your personal or academic life, please do not hesitate to contact the professionals who can assist you.

A variety of free and confidential resources are available, both internally and externally.