Social Security Number In Canada

Social Security Number In Canada: Explained

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) in Canada is a vital step for residents and newcomers alike, serving as a key to accessing numerous services and benefits. Need any help to get that? Worry not! We’ve got your back!

This article sheds light on the essentials of acquiring an SSN, simplifying what can often seem like an overwhelming process. Whether you’re a new immigrant, a temporary worker, or a Canadian resident, understanding the SSN system is crucial. Let’s navigate through the intricacies of securing your SSN in Canada.

Let’s dive in!

What Is The Social Security Number In Canada?

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A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number you need to work, be paid in Canada, and access government programs and benefits. It is also used to file taxes.

(If you are not eligible for a SIN, you can apply for an Individual Tax Number (ITN) for tax purposes.)

You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Ensure that you store documents containing your SIN and personal information in a safe place. 

Note: International students get a SIN starting with the number ‘9,’ which lets employers know that you are a temporary resident in Canada.

How To Apply For A SIN?

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You can apply for a SIN in person at a Service Canada Office. Your SIN will be issued the day you apply.

Documents Needed

  1. A valid original primary document to prove your identity and legal status in Canada. A primary document can be:
    • A Work Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
    • A Study Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  2. A valid original secondary document to confirm your identity. A secondary document can be:
    • A passport (Canadian or foreign)
    • A provincial or territorial ID card or driver’s license
    • Any other government-issued ID

Validity Of Your SIN

The expiry date of the SIN is based on the permit that authorizes you to work in Canada. Each time you extend your study or work permits and want to continue working or file your taxes, you must renew your SIN with the new or renewed permits.

Work Eligibility

A valid SIN alone does not automatically make you eligible to work on or off campus. You must still meet the eligibility requirements to work legally. Students in degree programs do not need a work permit to work off-campus.

Are The Social Security Number And Social Insurance Number The Same In Canada?

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In Canada, the Social Insurance Number (SIN) is the equivalent of the Social Security Number (SSN) in the U.S. Canadian residents use SINs for government programs and as a source of identification in the private sector

Many organizations, such as financial institutions, will use the SIN to create indexing for client accounts.

The Canadian government started the SIN program 1964 to administer the Canada Pension Plan and Canada’s varied employment insurance programs. In 1967, Revenue Canada (now the Canada Revenue Agency) began using SINs for tax reporting.

Things To Be Noted

  • Canadian citizens and permanent or temporary residents need a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada.
  • SINs are needed to receive benefits and services from government programs.
  • Generally, Canadian law bars private companies from acquiring a customer’s SIN.
  • As with American SSNs, theft and misuse of SINs and the accompanying identity theft is a growing problem.

Social Insurance Number

Canadian citizens and permanent or temporary residents need the SIN to work in Canada and receive benefits and services from government programs.

  • Children 12 and older may apply for their SIN.
  • Canadians must update their SIN record if they change their name due to marriage or other circumstances.
  • Canadians also now have the option to have their gender marked as X or not to declare a gender.
  • In March 2014, Service Canada, a federal institution that is part of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and that provides Canadians with a point of access to many government services and benefits, stopped issuing plastic SIN cards and instead began printing the confirmation of the SIN on paper.
  • The agency cited improved security, as many Canadians carried the plastic cards on their persons, increasing the chances of SINs being lost or stolen.
  • Service Canada has stopped issuing plastic SIN cards, citing the need for improved security.

Use Of The Social Insurance Number

  • Canada established laws that restrict the use of SINs in income reporting and has a limited list of federal departments and programs that can collect Canadian citizens’ SINs.
  • Such as the Income and Health Care Programs, the Labour Adjustment Review Board, and the Rural and Native Housing Program.
  • Some private-sector companies, such as telecommunications firms and airlines, can collect their customers’ SINs.
  • Generally, Canadian law bars private companies from acquiring a customer’s SIN unless there is a specific and lawful reason (often cited as one of the most significant differences between an SIN and an American SSN).
  • Financial institutions that let customers earn investment income, such as credit unions and banks, can also collect SINs.
  • If certain companies deny services to a customer for not providing a SIN, that customer can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
  • As with American SSNs, theft and misuse of SINs and the accompanying identity theft is a growing problem.

How To Get Your Canadian Social Security Number?

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To get a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN), you can apply online, in person at a Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

Online

To apply online, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or temporary resident authorized to work in Canada
  • At least 12 years old
  • Able to provide your date of birth and other personal information
  • Able to upload digital copies of your supporting documents

To apply online, visit the Service Canada website and select “Apply for a Social Insurance Number”.

In-person

To apply in person, you must go to a Service Canada Centre and bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate
  • Proof of status, such as a Canadian citizenship certificate, permanent resident card, or work permit
  • Proof of residency, such as a utility bill or bank statement

By Mail

You must download and complete the SIN application form from the Service Canada website to apply by mail. 

You must also include the following documents with your application:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of status.
  • Proof of residency.

Mail your application to the following address:

Service Canada 

Social Insurance Number

 P.O. Box 7000 Bathurst, NB E2A 4T1

What Is The Processing Time?

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The processing time for SIN applications varies depending on the method you use to apply. Online applications are typically processed the fastest, followed by in-person and mail applications.

Once your application has been processed, you will receive your SIN in the mail. You can also view your SIN online if you create a My Service Canada Account.

Who Needs A SIN?

You need a SIN to work in Canada and to access specific government programs and benefits, such as Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). You may also need a SIN to open a bank account or apply for a credit card.

You can contact Service Canada for more information if you are wondering whether you need a SIN.

Getting Your Social Security Number With Public Health Insurance

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In some countries, you can get a Social Security Number (SSN) by enrolling in public health insurance. This is typically the case for people who are new to the country and do not have any other way to obtain an SSN.

How To Get An SSN With Public Health Insurance?

Getting an SSN with public health insurance varies from country to country. However, the general steps are:

  1. Apply for public health insurance through your country’s Social Security Administration.
  2. Provide all of the required documentation, including proof of identity and proof of residency.
  3. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a Social Security Number.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting An SSN With Public Health Insurance?

There are several benefits to getting an SSN with public health insurance. 

✅It will allow you to access public health care services. 

✅It will allow you to work legally in the country. 

✅It will make it easier to apply for other government programs and benefits, such as social security and disability benefits.

Countries Where You Can Get An SSN With Public Health Insurance

Some countries where you can get an SSN with public health insurance include:

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

If you are still determining whether you can get an SSN with public health insurance in your country, you should contact your country’s Social Security Administration for more information.

Getting Your Social Security Number With Private Health Insurance

You cannot get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) with private health insurance in Canada. 

A SIN is a nine-digit number issued by the Government of Canada to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents legally authorized to work in Canada.

 It tracks your earnings and contributions to government programs, such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI).

Private health insurance is not a government program and does not entitle you to a SIN. You can only get a SIN by meeting the eligibility criteria and applying to Service Canada.

If you are a temporary resident authorized to work in Canada, you can get a Temporary Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada. 

To be eligible for a Temporary SIN, you must:

  • Be a temporary resident who is legally authorized to work in Canada
  • Have a valid work permit or study permit
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number Application Form (T4001)

To apply for a Temporary SIN, you can go to a Service Canada Centre in person, apply online, or mail your application to Service Canada.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for a SIN online, in person at a Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

To apply for a SIN, you will need to provide proof of identity, proof of status, and proof of residency.

Once you have applied for a SIN, you will receive it in the mail within a few weeks. You can also view your SIN online by creating a My Service Canada Account.

For more information on how to get a SIN, please visit the Service Canada website.

What Does The Social Security Number In Canada Look Like?

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social insurance number (SIN) (French: numéro d’assurance sociale (NAS)) is a number issued in Canada to administer various government programs. 

The SIN was created in 1964 to serve as a client account number in administrating the Canada Pension Plan and Canada’s varied employment insurance programs. 

In 1967, Revenue Canada (now the Canada Revenue Agency) started using the SIN for tax reporting.

 SINs are issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (previously Human Resources Development Canada).

The SIN is formatted as three groups of three digits (e.g., 123-456-789).

The top of the card has changed over the years as the departments that are responsible for the card have changed:

  • Manpower and Immigration
  • Employment and Immigration Canada
  • Human Resources Development Canada
  • Government of Canada

The 2012 Canadian federal budget contained provisions to phase out the Social Insurance Number cards because they lacked modern security features and could be used for identity theft. 

As of 31 March 2014, Service Canada no longer issues plastic SIN cards. Instead, an individual will receive a paper “Confirmation of SIN” letter.

Where Can You Find Your Canadian Social Security Number?

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You can find your Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) in the following documents:

  • Income tax return
  • Tax slips
  • Record of employment
  • RRSP contribution statement
  • T4A slip (pension, retirement, annuity, and other income)
  • T4E slip (statement of benefits)
  • Old Age Security (OAS) Statement
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Statement
  • Employment Insurance (EI) statement
  • Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • My Service Canada Account

If you have lost your SIN or need help remembering it, you can request a confirmation of your SIN from Service Canada. You can do this online, in person at a Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

To Request A Confirmation Of Your SIN Online

  1. Go to the Service Canada website and select “My Service Canada Account“.
  2. Sign in to your account or create one if you do not.
  3. Select “Social Insurance Number” once you are signed in.
  4. Select “Request a confirmation of your SIN“.
  5. Follow the instructions to complete your request.

To Request A Confirmation Of Your SIN In Person

  1. Go to a Service Canada Centre.
  2. Bring proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
  3. Tell the service representative that you need a confirmation of your SIN.

To Request A Confirmation Of Your SIN By Mail

  1. Download and complete the SIN Confirmation Request Form (T4113E) from the Service Canada website.
  2. Mail the completed form to the following address:

Service Canada

Social Insurance Number

P.O. Box 7000 Bathurst, NB E2A 4T1

Once you have requested a confirmation of your SIN, you will receive it within a few weeks.

It is vital to keep your SIN safe and confidential. You should never give your SIN to anyone you do not trust.

If You Have Forgotten Your SIN

If you cannot remember your SIN, you may:

  • Find it on your income tax return, tax slips, record of employment, or RRSP contribution
  • View it by signing in or registering for My Service Canada Account (MSCA)
  • Obtain a confirmation of your SIN by submitting an application

If You Have Lost Your SIN, Or If It Was Stolen

If you have lost your SIN, or if it was stolen, Service Canada will not issue a new one.

Service Canada may issue a new SIN only if there is proof that the SIN was used fraudulently. If you think this may apply to you, refer to Protecting your SIN for more information.

If You Find Someone Else’s SIN

Please return it to a Service Canada Center or mail it to Service Canada.

Conclusion

As we conclude our comprehensive guide on obtaining a Social Security Number in Canada, remember that this number is more than just an identifier; it’s a gateway to a range of essential services and opportunities in Canada.

Equipped with the right knowledge and approach, securing your SSN can be a smooth and straightforward process. Embrace this step as a fundamental part of your Canadian journey, setting the foundation for your life and work in this diverse and welcoming country.

Canada Ready!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in following:

  • Citizenship In Canada
  • Dual Citizenship In Canada
  • Permanent Residence In Canada

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