Social Insurance Number

Social Insurance Number

The most crucial task to perform once you arrive in Canada is to obtain a Social Insurance Number, which enables you to work legally in Canada. The nine-digit Social Insurance number maintains individual transactions between Canadians and provincial or federal governments. You must share your SIN with your employer as soon as you start the job. You need not pay any fee to get the SIN.

Getting a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Individuals can receive their Social Insurance Number (SIN) on the same day if applying in person. The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a printout (confirmation of SIN letter). The Social Insurance Number (SIN) was in the form of a plastic card till 2014.
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is present on the SIN confirmation letter and all documents from Canada Revenue Agency.

Applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in person

Ideally, one must apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in person. The option of an online application is available in exceptional cases. You must personally approach the nearest Service Canada Office with the necessary documents. Individuals with a permanent residence status need to present the Permanent Residence Card. Alternatively, you may show a Permanent Residence letter within the first year of obtaining permanent residence status.
Individuals who enter Canada as Temporary Residents should show a Study Permit or a Canadian work permit. They will receive a Social Insurance Number (SIN) that begins with 9. Validity will match the end date of the immigration document.

Requirements for online applications for Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Online application to obtain Social Insurance Number (SIN) requires accessing the government’s SIN portal. You need to organize three crucial documents to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) online. These are:

  • Primary documents – Your permanent residence card is the acceptable primary document for Social Insurance Number (SIN). You may show Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) if you have arrived in less than a year. Primary residents will require a valid study or work permit.
  • Secondary documents – You must establish your identity by producing a valid passport, driving license, or any ID proof by a government agency.
  • Address proof – The address proof can be in the form of correspondence from an education or government institution.

There is a provision to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) through the mail if you stay more than 100 km away from the nearest Service Canada Office. You may also depute another person to come to the Service Canada office.

Importance of protecting the SIN

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is confidential. It is necessary to set up your income tax and benefit arrangements by financial institutions, government agencies, and employers. Never use your SIN as personal ID proof for phone or internet subscriptions, property rental applications, college applications, or credit card applications. You may offer an alternate ID proof.
There is a possibility of malicious use of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) by fraudsters. Your SIN can disclose critical information about your financial transactions. You must never share your Social Insurance Number (SIN) unless necessary.
The original purpose of issuing Social Insurance Number (SIN) was to assign unique numbers to the insured and uninsured members of the Unemployment Insurance Commission and members of the Canada Pension Plan. Now we can notice the use of Social Insurance Number (SIN) is in diverse applications like school records, family allowances, and income tax returns.
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