Healthcare for pregnant newcomers

Dear friends in MovNorth community,

I’m planning to land in Toronto later this summer, as my family’s CoPRs are about to expire. The tricky part: my wife is pregnant at this time. There will be a series of prenatal checkups at certain weeks of pregnancy during our landing trip. I hear that in Canada you’ll have to go to a family doctor first to get a referral, and it could take weeks to book an appointment.

Does anyone know the procedure of setting up appointments for prenatal checkups? Are we able to make it in time?


Firstly congratulations and best wishes for the upcoming new member in your family.

This is a tricky situation to be in. Where are you currently?

Normally your COPR expiring and not being able to Travel due to COVID restrictions isn’t a problem. IRCC have said in their bulletin that they will grant you an extension. The problem for you however is that if your child is born before you have landed, then your COPR is no longer valid. You will need to re-apply for PR with your child included in the application and this situation is far from ideal.

The other issue is that as new residents in Ontario you will not be eligible for OHIP for the first 3 months. I read that Ontario waived the 3 month period for returning residents due to COVID but I don’t think you would fall in that category. Be mindful that life is complicated and some things can be hard to predict. If and when you travel to Canada, be mentally prepared to have the baby delivered here. And with that in mind be sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for your wife in the interim, you don’t want to have to pay for delivery costs out of pocket. Check if your current insurer will cover expenses in Canada? Otherwise research about and buy private health insurance.

Depending on your other timelines and having a job lined up, if you’re in America then I’d recommend that you do a soft landing as soon as you can and then head back immediately (There are 14 day quarantine requirements that you may need to think about). If you’re not in America, then my recommendation is for you to move to Canada ASAP. The reason is that for sponsoring your child one of you will need to be in Canada (most likely you) and your wife and child will need to be in India (or another country where he or she is born). The applications can take between 6 months and a year and that can seem like a really long time for a new family. If they’re born in America then they can travel with you when you move permanently and you can then sponsor the child inland.

So keep all these things in mind and depending on what month it is for your wife, make a decision.
Best of luck.

(BTW all provinces don’t have the 3 month waiting period, for example Alberta covers new residents from Day 1 and if someone doesn’t have a job lined up and are moving permanently then that could be a big factor in first moving to a province where you will have access to healthcare and then later moving elsewhere.)