Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Social Insurance Number
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned to one single person. This number is used to identify people who work in Canada, and who need to access government programs and benefits. All newcomers to Canada should apply for a SIN.
How to apply for a SIN Card?
In order to get a SIN Card, you need to:
- fill in a SIN Application form,
- find a document you need to apply (see below), and
- take your application and the document to your nearest Service Canada Centre
[See Related Resources]
You need to submit one of the following documents along with your SIN application form:
- Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence document (IMM 5292) AND Canadian Visa Counterfoil affixed to your passport or travel document, or
- Record of Landing (if you arrived before June 28, 2002)
If your application and document are in order, you will get a SIN during that visit, and receive your SIN Card in the mail within 10 business days.
If you are mailing in your SIN application and identification document, it is a good idea to send it by registered mail.
If you need to apply by mail, follow these steps:
- Order a SIN application form by calling 1-800-206-7218 and selecting option '3'
- Send your completed application and original documents to:
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst, NB E2A 4T1
- Parents or legal guardians can complete a SIN application for their children under the age of 12. Children 12 years and older can sign a SIN application for themselves.
- Some people or businesses may ask you to provide your SIN. Although this practice is strongly discouraged, it is not illegal.
- Each SIN is issued to one person only. It cannot legally be used by anyone else. Your SIN is confidential. You are responsible for protecting your SIN from inappropriate use, fraud, and theft. Do not keep your SIN card with you, store it in a safe place.
Uses of the Social Insurance Number
You need to use your SIN when:
- starting a new job
- filing your income tax
- applying for government benefits (Employment Insurance or Child Tax Benefit, for example)
- applying for Canada Student Loans
Some examples of when you do not have to give out your SIN:
- to prove your identity (except to access government services)
- on a job application (before you get the job)
- on a rental application or lease agreement
- when applying for a credit card or making bank transactions
- when applying for a video-club membership