Why SIN is vital for identity in Canada

SIN in canada

Among the essential things to learn about in Canada immigration is obtaining the Social Insurance Number (SIN). This is in fact one of the first things to do as soon as you land in Canada. It establishes the legality of your stay in the country and you can’t legally work without it.

Introduction to SIN and why you need it

Your identification in Canada is possible to Canadian governmental agencies through your SIN. These agencies could be federal and provincial, who will use your SIN number as and when needed. It’s a 9-digit number that will let you have a job. You will pay your taxes with this number’s reference. You will also receive governmental benefits like Canada Pension Plan, or Employment Insurance under this number.

Eligibility to apply for a SIN

It’s basically a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who’s eligible to apply for a SIN. Besides them, temporary residents with Work Permit and Study Permit (with permission to work) are eligible for a SIN. Children aged 12 years or more can apply for their own SIN.

Documents needed to apply for a SIN

A primary document that proves your identity and legal status in Canada is essential to apply for a SIN. If you are a permanent resident, the following documents issued by IRCC are needed to apply:

  • The original permanent resident card, or
  • The Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) along with
    • A passport or
    • ID card issued provincially/territorially (driver’s license, healthcare card).

In case you are a temporary resident, you can produce IRCC-issued documents like:

  • The original Work Permit, or
  • The original Study Permit (it must state that you “may work” or “may accept employment”)

A difference of name in the primary document from the actual name will need verification. For this, you will need to provide the original of a legal document. You must also explain the discrepancy.

In case any of your documents are not in English or French, you must also provide:

  • An English or French translation of the document, and
  • An attestation or affidavit signed by the translator

Where and how to apply for a SIN

Application for a SIN can be submitted either in person or by mail.

When applied in person, the process takes around 10 minutes and you will get the SIN during the same visit. If you are applying by mail you will get your SIN in 20 business days from the date of receipt of application. In both instances, your original documents will also be returned along with the PIN.

Protection of your SIN

It’s essential to keep your SIN confidential. This is because someone else can use your SIN to get your private information when not kept securely. If the SIN isn’t linked to you as its true owner, anybody can receive your government benefits and other financial returns.

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