Getting your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is one of the first things you should do upon arrival in Canada. You cannot legally work in Canada without a SIN. It is required by international students, foreign workers, permanent residents, and citizens to work in Canada.
Please note that you cannot start work until you have SIN in Canada. There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number in Canada.
A SIN is a nine-digit number used to identify you by government agencies. You need it to pay taxes. Also, you need a SIN to access government programs and benefits, like Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Moreover, whenever you start a new job, you must provide your Canadian SIN to your employer. Furthermore, never ever share your SIN number with anyone on the phone to avoid any scam.
There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number in Canada.
How to apply for SIN?
You can get your SIN in-person, online, or by mail (in some situations). It is only in 2020 that online applications were introduced. This was because of the temporary closure of Service Canada offices due to COVID-19.
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You can apply for a SIN in-person at your nearest Service Canada office. Also, you can request an appointment using the online service request form. Download the application form online.
Also, you can get the application form by visiting your local Service Canada Centre. After filling out the form, then along with the required documents and submit them to the Service Canada center.
If you meet all the requirements, you can get your SIN the same day you hand in the application. If you are a Permanent resident you have to show your PR card. A Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter is acceptable within the first year of permanent residency.
However, you also have to carry your passport. Or you can carry any other valid photo identification like a driver’s license. If you are a temporary resident, you need to provide either your Canadian study permit or work permit showing work authorization in Canada.
Applying by Mail
You can apply for a SIN by mail if you live more than 100 kilometers from your nearest Service Canada office. Also, if there are any other circumstances that prevent you from presenting in-person and another individual cannot submit an application on your behalf, then you can apply by mail too.
Moreover, if you are applying from outside Canada, you can do it by mail. To apply by mail, you need a completed SIN application form. If you cannot print this form, you can order the form by phone at 1-506-548-7961. After filling out the form, then you need to mail all original supporting documents and application form to the below Social Insurance Registration Office address.
Photocopies are not accepted. If you send your application by registered mail, your document(s) will be returned to you in the same way.
Applying SIN Online
If you apply for SIN online, you need a primary document proving your status and work authorization in Canada. Additionally, you need a secondary document verifying your identity. Also, you need a third document showing your proof of address. Once you have these documents, you can apply online through the government’s SIN website.
A primary document can be a PR card. Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) also works if you landed less than one year ago. As a temporary resident, you can use your work or study permit. For secondary documents, you can use a passport, a provincial ID card, or a driver’s license.
For proof of address, you can use a government, financial institution, or an educational institution addressed to you.
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