APPLYING FOR YOUR SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER
You should apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as possible after you arrive in Canada. A SIN is a nine- digit number provided by Service Canada on behalf of the federal government. You will need this number to work in Canada or to apply for government programs and benefits. You must present one of the following documents when you apply for a SIN:
- Permanent resident card from CIC: this is the only acceptable document if your permanent residence application was processed in Canada.
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND visa counterfoil affixed to your foreign passport or travel document.
- Work permit from CIC, Study permit from CIC or Visitor record from CIC indicating that you are authorized to work in Canada.
How to Apply
To apply for a SIN, simply gather the documents you need and take them to your nearest Service Canada Centre. The Service Canada agent will need to see the original documents (not copies). If your application and documents are in order, you will get a SIN in one visit. For more information about the SIN, visit Service Canada.
You can also call Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 (select option 3) or visit a Service Canada Centre in person (see the Blue Pages of the telephone book for Service Canada.
Protecting your SIN
Your SIN is confidential. You share the responsibility with Service Canada for protecting your SIN from inappropriate use, fraud and theft. Only provide your SIN when it is required. For example:
- To show to your new employer, after you have found a job;
- For income tax purposes;
- To show to financial institutions (for example, banks) where you are earning interest or income;
- To apply for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI), Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) or other benefits (see the section on Employment and income);
- To apply for a Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) or a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP); or
- To receive a Canada Student Loan.
Contact Service Canada if you change your name, if your citizenship status changes, or if information on your SIN record is incorrect or incomplete. Also inform Service Canada if your SIN card is lost or if you suspect that your SIN is being wrongly used. You should never use your SIN card as a piece of identification and should not carry it with you. Store it safely at home. Never provide your SIN over the telephone unless you make the call and you know the person you are speaking with. Finally, never reply to emails that ask you for personal information such as your SIN.
Source: Welcome to Canada: What you should know
www.cic.gc.ca, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2013.