How to apply for your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

When to apply Immediately after arriving in British Columbia
Cost $75 per month for study permit holders
Processing time 1-2 months; coverage begins after a waiting period (the remainder of the month of arrival plus 2 full calendar months)

Online (recommended) or by mail

See a step-by-step guide to apply for the MSP Online Application.

Supporting documents

International students: Copy of valid study permit or work permit such as Post-graduation or spouse/partner work permit

Canadian students: Copy of proof of status (e.g., Canadian Permanent Resident card, Canadian passport, birth certificate, or citizenship card, citizenship certificate)

Family members: Copy of visitor record, study permit, spouse/partner work permit, or passport stamp showing arrival date to Canada

Additional documents may be needed

Tips for the process

The easiest application method is online.

If you decide to submit a paper application by mail, consider using a secure mailing method such as Canada Post Xpresspost.

International students

If you are reapplying for MSP after being on implied status, include a copy of the IRCC submission confirmation (PDF) confirming that they received your application. To find your confirmation, log in to your MyCIC account. See the MSP page for more details. 

Temporary BC residents (such as international students and workers) will typically be issued a non-photo BC Services Card (formerly known as “BC CareCard”). Carry your card with you as well as a digital or paper copy of your valid study permit or work permit (such as post-graduation or spouse/partner work permit)

You can also apply for a BC driver’s license and/or BC photo ID by submitting a separate application.

Domestic students

As of 2018, to complete MSP enrolment, adult Canadian citizens and permanent residents will need to obtain a Photo BC Services Card by visiting an Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) driver licensing office. 

Apply for MSP, wait for your letter of instruction, and take the letter and a primary and secondary photo ID document such as your driver’s license or your BC Services Card, to an ICBC office near you.

Get important information on MSP

Learn about how to maintain your MSP coverage, how to make payments, what happens if you will be outside of BC and more

See MSP details

Related topics

Health and wellbeing resources

If you’re studying in or outside of Canada, there are support options available to you. Answer a few questions and find the resources specific to you. 

Find your options

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide

If you have questions