When moving to Canada one of your highest priorities should be applying for your Social Insurance Number or SIN. This 9-digital number is required by all legitimate employers and will allow you to access government services, pensions, and to file your taxes. This process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month to complete, and can be done online, in-person, or by mail. Newcomers Canada is committed to supporting new Canadians as they navigate the process of relocating to Canada which is why we have developed this helpful 5 step guide for new Canadians to apply for their Social Insurance Number. Keep reading to learn more about the process for getting your SIN number and what will be required.
What is a SIN and why is it required?
As we mentioned above, your Social Insurance Number is a legal requirement for working in Canada. Your SIN is similar to a social security number in the United States, a Tax File Number in Australia, or a National Insurance Number in the United Kingdom. By applying for a SIN in Canada you will gain access to the Canadian Pension Plan and other pension programs, you will be able to utilize government programs, and you will be able to file your taxes, which is a legal requirement in Canada.
Who is eligible for a SIN?
You are considered eligible for a Social Insurance Number in Canada if you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a temporary citizen. While most children do not require a SIN because they don’t work, in Canada anyone over the age of 12 can apply for their own Social Insurance Number.
How can I get a Social Insurance Number in Canada?
You can apply for your SIN online, by mail, or in person at a Service Canada Centre.
What is required to apply for a Social Insurance Number?
Circumstances may vary, but you should be prepared to provide a primary and a secondary identity document. These documents must be official documents and depending on your status in Canada, these documents may differ, learn more about what documents are required here. In addition to these identity documents, you will also require supporting documents and proof of a Canadian address. These requirements vary depending on how you are applying, so be sure to review the official Government of Canada website to learn more.
Things to keep in mind once you have your SIN.
Once you have completed your application number and received your Canadian Social Insurance Number, you will officially be eligible for employment in Canada and will have access to government services, pensions, and be expected to complete tax filings.
Newcomers Canada would encourage you to be vigilant in protecting your Social Insurance Number, there are criminals who steal Social Insurance Numbers as a tool for identity theft. Generally speaking, the only scenarios that should require you to provide a SIN are through your employer or the government. Think critically before providing your Social Insurance Number to anyone else.