Did you know there is no way you can be permitted to work in Canada without a Social Insurance Number (SIN)? As a result of this getting a Social Insurance Number (SIN), is one of the first things to do when anyone arrives in Canada.
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The Social Insurance Number in Canada is equivalent to the Tax File Number (TFN) in Australia, Personal Public Service Number (PPS) in Ireland, and National Insurance Number (NIN) in the United Kingdom.
When you are employed in any of this country, you will be required to provide your Social Insurance Number to your employer.
What is Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that gives you the opportunity to work in Canada or deemed fit for any government benefits or programs.
The Social Insurance Number is only given to one person and cannot be used by any other person. It is the responsibility of such a person to protect his or her SIN by keeping it in a safe place.
Reasons for Social Insurance Number (SIN)
The following is a list of reasons you should have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in Canada because it allows you to:
- Receive money via investments and work.
- Make tax payments.
- Use government amenities.
- Donate pension plans
An employer cannot give you wages if you don’t have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). There is a law in Canada that an employer needs to know your Social Insurance Number within 3 days after you are employed.
Social Insurance Number (SIN) Eligibility
- If you are a citizen in Canada, either a temporary or permanent resident, you should have a Social Insurance Number to work in a field in Canada or acquire government services, benefits, or programs.
- Children who are 12 years and above can apply for their Social Insurance Number on their own.
- Anyone can be legally authorized to act on behalf of these children such as legal guardians, parents, personnel, and others. The main aim is to guide the child during his or her SIN application.
Social Insurance Number (SIN) Requirements
To file an application for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you have to apply for confirmation of your Social Insurance Number or make changes to the record of your Social Insurance Number. There are two documents you must provide in other to do this:
- Valid primary document – to show legal and identity status in Canada.
- Secondary document – to verify your identity.
NB: If your primary or secondary document is not the same as the name you use, you will be asked to present supporting documents, if you are filing an application for someone, you may also have to present additional information.
Primary Documents for Social Insurance Number
The primary documents must be original because photocopies will not be accepted. Any Canadian citizens should present an original of any of the following:
- Birth of Certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the region where you were born.
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship given by Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Immigration.
- Certificate of Registration of Birth Overseas given before 1977 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
For Registered Indians
Registered Indians who want their status to be registered in the record of their Social Insurance Number must present:
- Birth certificate or foreign birth certificate.
- Certificate of Indian status given to them by Indigenous Services in Canada
For Permanent Residents
- A Permanent Resident card is given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or Immigration.
- Verification of Permanent Residence given by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, together with either a travel document or an alternate photo given by a regional authority (driver’s license)
- Record of Landing given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada before June 28, 2002.
- Verification of Landing given by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Status Verification is given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This document is used to modify a SIN record or get a confirmation of an existing SIN.
For Temporary residents
- A work permit is given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- A study permit is given by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Visitor record is given by Citizenship and Immigration Canada indicating you can work in Canada.
- A diplomatic identity card is given by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development.
Secondary Documents for Social Insurance Number
The secondary document is an official document that validates someone’s identity. All secondary documents must be valid, original, and given by a government in a particular province. It must have the following: date of birth and legal name. Examples of Secondary document are:
- A Canadian or foreign passport.
- A provincial driver’s license or ID card.
- Any other ID issued by the government.
Social Insurance Number (SIN) Application
- Applying in person:
When you are applying for a Social Insurance Number by yourself, you have to carry all your original documents and take them to any nearest Service Canada Office in order to get a SIN confirmation. If the procedure went well, you will get your Social Insurance Number during your visit.
- Applying through mail:
The only people who can apply through this are:
- Individuals residing 100 km and above from any nearest service Canada office can’t access the area.
- Individual with other limitation that is reasonable and prevents them from going to a Service Canada point of service and has no other option to use another individual to help them submit their application.
- Individuals who are applying outside the shore of Canada.
NB: You need these two documents to apply by mail such as the SIN application form and original documents. After you are done with the application, you can send the application form and your original documents to this address:
Social Insurance Registration Office
Processing Time for Social Insurance Number (SIN)
If your application for a Social Insurance Number meets the basic requirements, a letter will be sent to your mail within 20 business days starting from the date your application was received. If it more than 25 business days and there is no response you can contact them via the email address on their website.
After getting your SIN, Service Canada helps you store your personal information in the Registry of your Social Insurance which includes your name, date of birth, place of birth, your parent’s names, and even dates of death are recorded too.