The RAMQ, or Registry of Medical Insurance in Quebec  (in French: Regie de L’assurance Maladie Quebec) is an institution you should make yourself very familiar with.


Medical office - middle-aged male doctor greeting patient, shaking hands.
Photo Credit: Vic via Flickr cc

If you are moving to Quebec as a permanent resident, or if you are coming to Quebec temporarily with a work visa, study visa or are the spouse or dependent of a temporary resident, you are eligible to be covered by the RAMQ and obtain a Health Insurance Card. Your coverage will begin three months after you arrive in Quebec (the “waiting period”), and you should know that the RAMQ won’t reimburse you for services received within this three-month period.  To offset these costs, private medical insurance is encouraged.

The RAMQ Health Insurance Card in Quebec offers many medical services to its clients, as well as some that are included under special consideration and circumstances.

Steps for registering for a Health Insurance Card in Quebec:

  1. When you arrive in Quebec, call the RAMQ or go in person to one of their offices ASAP in order to get the registration form to apply. If you wait too long you will delay the date upon which your RAMQ coverage becomes effective.
  2. Fill out the registration form and attach to it the original documentation that is required. If you go to a RAMQ office, you only need the original documents, and they will be returned to you on that day by the agent. If you mail the forms, they must be the originals, or certified true copies, which will be returned to you within 30 days.
  3. Have your photograph taken to the specifications listed on the registration form (photo and signature information). You can also have these taken at a Jean Coutu or a Pharmaprix store.

If Quebec and your home country have signed a social security agreement, your process may be a little different than the regular registration for a Health Insurance Card. The countries this includes are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. For more detailed information on what this agreement entails, and how it applies to you, click here.

You can click here for a list of online services and forms from the RAMQ.


Want to learn more about healthcare formalities and services in Quebec? Sign up for and get full access to “The Guide.” Read the “Health & Wellbeing”  and “Formalities on Arrival” chapters for more information on this topic.


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About Catherine

It’s always been easy for me to have lots of love for Canada. As a native Canadian, I enjoy a both the vibrant cities full of excitement for young people, and the many opportunities to explore more remote parts of the country too. In my day-to-day life, it’s important for me to live an eco-friendly and health-conscious lifestyle. I like to take my kids on outings to the apple orchard in fall, a sugar shack in the spring, and to the many city parks during winter for ice skating, cross country skiing and snowman building. What better way for me to show my thanks to Canada then to help others with their journies of relocating to the country? I hope that I, and the rest of the team, can help ease your mind during your transition. Il n’a jamais été difficile pour moi d’aimer le Canada. En tant que Canadien d’origine, je profite d’une ville dynamique, riche en activités pour les jeunes mais aussi de possibilités pour explorer d’autres endroits du pays. Dans ma vie quotidienne, il est important pour moi de vivre en respectant l’environnement et la santé. J’aime amener mes enfants dans les pommeraies l’automne, dans une cabane à sucre au printemps et dans les nombreux parcs de la ville pour patiner en hiver, faire du ski de fond et des bonhommes de neige. Aider les autres dans leur relocalisation dans ce pays est une des meilleures façon de remercier le Canada. J’espère que l’équipe de et moi pourrons vous soulager dans votre période de transition. //