If you’ve already used up your six-month out-of-country trip quota for the year, are you doomed to the boredom of sitting at home during the summer, or freezing your butt in cottage country? Can’t make that two week trip to sunny Portugal or Greece? Not necessarily.
Several provinces now allow you to have some bonus trips over and above the normal requirement that you spend at least 183 days at home.
Quebec, for example, is the most generous, allowing you to take trips of up to 21 days out of the province or country without counting them against your 183 allowance. So, if you spent the whole winter in Florida and want to do a quick trip to Europe—so long as you keep it to 21 days and no more, you’ll be fine. But don’t abuse the privilege. Quebec’s RAMQ warns that it monitors absences and “persons who do not observe this rule lose their Health Insurance Plan coverage for all the calendar years during which they were absent 183 days or more. The Régie will require that they repay the cost of the healthcare services received during that time.”
Saskatchewan too has confirmed to our friends at the Canadian Snowbird Association that it does not monitor short-term absences during the summer to allow snowbirds who have wintered in the south to visit friends and family outside of the province.
Manitoba also allows you to travel out of province up to a total of 30 days if you have already used up your six-month quota.
Another consideration is how do you count your six-month in province requirement? All provinces except Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland require you to be present 183 days per calendar year. Simply add up the days you have made, or intend to make, out of province or out of country per you calendar year and you know where you stand and what you have left, if anything.
Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland reckon their allotments over the past 12 months—not per calendar year, and don’t forget that Ontario allows you to be out seven months and Newfoundland eight.
However, and this is a big However, that does not change the amount of time the U.S. allows you to spend in that country during a calendar year, if that’s where you were thinking of spending your bonus. That remains a maximum of 182 days—whether in one long trip or several shorter ones.
So if you were looking for a little leeway for some extra summer travel, you may be in luck—depends where you live.
Wherever your trip and for however long, travel insurance is more important ever, especially if you prepay any part of your trip and need to protect your investment against the possibility of cancellation due to man-made or natural disruption. Just remember last year’s volcanic eruption that stranded millions of tourists in Europe and wrecked all of their travel plans.