February 27, 2024

What are the specific visa requirements for medical tourists?

Medical tourism has become a popular option for individuals seeking specialized healthcare services abroad. Canada, known for its world-class medical facilities and skilled healthcare professionals, is a sought-after destination for medical tourists. However, before embarking on a medical journey to Canada, it's essential to understand the specific visa requirements that apply to medical tourists. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the visa requirements for medical tourists in Canada and provide valuable insights to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Understanding the Canadian Visa System:

Canada has a well-defined visa system designed to regulate the entry of foreign nationals into the country. Depending on the purpose and duration of your visit, you may need to apply for a specific type of visa or entry permit. For medical tourists, the appropriate visa category typically falls under the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program.

Read more: What are the eligibility criteria for a medical visa?

Types of Visas for Medical Tourists:

  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV): Also known as a visitor visa, the TRV allows individuals to enter Canada for temporary purposes, including tourism, visiting family or friends, or seeking medical treatment. Medical tourists must apply for a TRV if they intend to stay in Canada for more than six months or if they are from a visa-required country.

  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): The eTA is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. While most tourists and business travelers are eligible for an eTA, individuals traveling for medical purposes must ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and obtain proper authorization before their departure.

Read more: Can I travel to Canada for medical treatment without a visa?

Visa Requirements for Medical Tourists:

To apply for a visa as a medical tourist in Canada, you will typically need to provide the following documentation and meet specific criteria:

  • Letter of Invitation: If you have been referred to a Canadian healthcare facility or physician for medical treatment, you may need a letter of invitation from the treating physician or medical institution. This letter should outline the details of your medical condition, the proposed treatment plan, and the duration of your stay in Canada.

  • Proof of Financial Means: Medical tourists are responsible for covering the costs of their healthcare services, travel, and accommodation in Canada. You may be required to demonstrate sufficient financial means to support your stay, such as bank statements, sponsorship letters, or proof of medical insurance coverage.

  • Medical Documentation: Depending on the nature of your medical condition and treatment plan, you may need to submit medical documentation, including diagnostic reports, treatment histories, and physician recommendations. This information helps Canadian immigration officials assess the purpose and duration of your stay in Canada.

  • Travel Itinerary: Provide details of your travel itinerary, including your intended dates of arrival and departure, as well as any planned medical appointments or procedures. A comprehensive itinerary helps immigration authorities evaluate the necessity and duration of your stay in Canada.

  • Passport and Photographs: Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your intended stay in Canada and that you have recent passport-sized photographs meeting the specified requirements for visa applications.

Application Process:

Once you have gathered all the necessary documentation, you can apply for a visa or entry permit through the appropriate channels, such as the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website or a Canadian visa application center (VAC) in your country of residence. It's essential to submit your application well in advance of your planned travel dates to allow for processing time.


Navigating the visa requirements for medical tourists in Canada is essential for ensuring a seamless and stress-free healthcare experience abroad. By understanding the different types of visas available, meeting the necessary documentation requirements, and following the application process diligently, medical tourists can access world-class healthcare services in Canada with confidence. Remember to plan your trip carefully, seek guidance from qualified healthcare professionals, and stay informed about any updates or changes to immigration regulations to make the most of your medical journey to the Great White North.