A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is assigned to Canadian citizens and all Canadian residents, whether temporary or permanent residents, to work in Canada. If you’re eligible for benefits from the Canadian government, you will also require a SIN number to receive these services. Your employer will also require your SIN number.
What is a Social Insurance Number?
What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN) has a relatively simple answer. Your SIN is critical information that may be used to get more of your personal information and compromise your privacy.
To receive government benefits, you must have your SIN. The usage, abuse, and misuse of the SIN may impact the administration of federal and provincial programs, as well as private-sector activities.
When a SIN is not linked to the rightful owner, the incorrect person may receive government benefits, services, tax refunds, or bank credits. As a Canadian Resident, you will need one to live and work in Canada.
Furthermore, sensitive personal information may be disclosed to unauthorized individuals, leading to identity theft and fraud. You must keep your SIN safe from unauthorized usage to avoid fraud and keep your personal information private,
There are various important things you ought to remember about your SIN:
- You can be asked to provide your SIN, but make sure you understand why it is being asked for. In no way are you required by law to provide it.
- You will only get one SIN, and applying for a second if you’ve lost yours will not cancel your first
- It is a valuable piece of information and should be kept private
- It is not a type of ID
- It is a 9-digit number
- You are responsible for keeping it safe
- Using someone else’s SIN is considered fraud
- The governing authority that's responsible for issuing this number to you is called Service Canada
Requirements to get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Supply the following information with your application for a SIN Number. All documentation must be translated into English or French. Documents Required can primarily be broken down into Primary Identity Documents and Secondary Documents
Primary Identity Documents
A primary identity document is a document (officialized through certification) that proves your status and identity in Canada. Your status in Canada will require the use of different primary identity documents.
Candidates applying online and having information regarding their identity on both sides of their documents need to make sure they submit both sides.
If you have a Permanent Residency card, you can apply for a SIN. Your Canadian Identity Document, birth certificate, driver's license, study permit, work permit, or passport can also be used to apply for a SIN.
Secondary documents are certified and official documents used to confirm and prove your identity. Unless they belong to a deceased individual, secondary documents must be valid. They must also be a foreign passport issued by the federal, provincial, or territorial Canadian government.
The information below must appear on the secondary document:
- Your legal family and/or given name(s)
- Information about your date of birth
Secondary document examples:
- A Canadian or foreign passport
- A territorial or provincial Canadian ID card or driver’s license
- Other government-issued Canadian IDs
Provide a valid proof of address that confirms where you live. Make sure your name appears on the proof of address. It can be a document or letter signed by a government, company, or landlord (any authorized body).
How do I Apply for a Social Insurance Number?
Applying for a Social Insurance Number is a complicated process that can be difficult to navigate for candidates that need to be made aware of the application processes involved. You can apply primarily via the official online portal, by mail, or by making an appointment to submit your application in person with the relevant Canadian immigration authorities.
Steps for Applying Online
You can apply online, by mail, or by appointment, and there is no fee. It is simple to apply online.
Step 1: Submit a SIN Application Online
You can apply for SIN on the Government of Canada's website, utilizing SIN online in a safe and secure environment.
Step 2: Upload Digital Copies of Your Papers
Please review the “What do you need before applying” page to ensure you have all of the necessary paperwork on hand before applying.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
Once you've covered and uploaded all of the documents from the SIN Required Documents list, you can submit your application. Service Canada will send you a Confirmation of the SIN letter once your application has been processed.
Applying by Mail
You may also obtain your SIN by mail. To do this, you must submit a completed SIN application form with your original papers. Once your application has been processed, your original papers will be returned.
Applying by Appointment
If, for whatever reason, you require an in-person application for a SIN. You can fill out a service request form, and an officer will contact you to schedule an appointment.
How to Protect Your SIN
As we mentioned before, it’s your responsibility as a Canadian resident to protect your SIN by never leaving it in a public place. Service Canada also safeguards your SIN by safely preserving personal information in computer systems only available to authorized workers.
Personal information requested to apply for a SIN is stored in the Social Insurance Register by Service Canada. This data set includes your name, date of birth, and place of birth, as well as your parent's names. The National Register also includes death dates.
When Do You Need to Use a SIN?
These are the ways you will usually use a SIN:
- When you are hired at a job, your employer can ask you for your SIN, especially for a credit check
- You must provide your SIN when completing your income tax information
- You must provide your SIN when you open a bank account
- Pay taxes
- To benefit from government services like free healthcare or education, you must provide your SIN
Make the Move to Get Your SIN Today!
If you want to take the steps of obtaining your Social Insurance Number, we recommend that you use the services of certified immigration professional like one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC). An RCIC will assist you by facilitating the application process on your behalf and making sure that you liaise with the proper authorities in charge of granting the Social Insurance Number to successful applicants.
How can I Recover my SIN if I Forget it?
If you forgot your SIN, you can recover it by:
- Looking it up on your tax slips, income tax return, RRSP contribution, or record of employment
- You can receive your SIN confirmation by submitting an application
What Should I do if my SIN is Stolen or Lost?
If your SIN was lost or stolen, Service Canada won’t provide you with a new one. Service Canada issues new SINs only if you provide proof that your SIN was used for fraudulent activities.
If I Find Someone Else’s SIN, What Should I do?
If you find someone else’s SIN, you must return it to a Service Canada Center or mail it to Service Canada.