You really need to start here. Nearly everything else that you’ll want to set up relies on you having a Canadian social insurance or SIN number – it serves as your ID number for pretty much everything. I’d suggest this is the first thing you should go and do; you’ll probably need one to set up a bank account and you’ll definitely need one or cell (mobile) phone contract.
What’s more, before you go looking for a job in Vancouver, Canada, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to get a Social Insurance Number or SIN. The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.
Step by step guide to getting a Canadian social insurance number
I was actually surprised at how straightforward it was to get a social insurance number – although you can do it by post, the quickest way is to do it in person.
Before you go:
- Make sure you’ve got the correct documentation (your work permit that’s stapled to your passport)
- Make sure you’ve got your passport or some other proof of ID
- Make sure you’ve got an address (as they’ll need one to post your social insurance number card to you)
Now go and get it:
- Find your nearest ‘Service centre’
- Queue up for about 20 minutes
- Ask for a SIN number – and wait 5 minutes
- You get a social insurance number on the spot
- Wait for the social insurance number card to arrive in the post (it takes about 10 working days)
This is a pretty good service – from start to finish it only took 30 minutes – loads better than trying to get a national insurance number at a JobCcentre in the UK. Service Canada has made it easy for you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), to replace your card, or to amend your SIN record at their Service Canada Centres.