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CUAET guides pt.1: How to apply for Canadian SIN (ІПН, ИНН)

This blog contains the unedited posts of Ukrainians who successfully moved to Victoria, BC, and/or their hosts. Content posted with permission. For privacy we are keeping them anonymous. The opinions expressed in the blog are those of the author and are neither supported nor endorsed by the moderators of this website.

My experience: how to get Canadian SIN (ІПН, ИНН) on day three after arrival. You need a SIN to get employed and have access to certain state support goodies.
1. You may apply for a Social Insurance Number online, but that is not the fastest choice, processing may take 1-2 weeks. At the same time, note that to start working in Canada the fact that you have applied for a SIN + a work permit validated with a medical examination are just enough.
To get a SIN sooner, I applied for it in a Service Canada office in my city. This office is akin to РАГС/ЗАГС or ДМСУ in Ukraine. It is a federal service, do not confuse it with a local provincial service, e.g. Quebec Service. You must bring your international passport of Ukraine to get a SIN , that’s all. I’ve no idea how that is organized for ppl who had no international passport before arriving.
2. I had no Service Canada appointment registered, but I strongly recommend you to google Service Canada in your destination city and sign up for an appointment there for a comfortable date and time as soon as you know your arrival date. Without an appointment, the queues are enormous!
3. The office works from 8:30am and I was there at 8:00am. I was late, there was already an enormous line, 80+ people. So, if you got no appointment registered, I recommend you to come to that office at 7:00am, this way you’ll only need to wait for 1,5 hours and not for 2,5 hours like I did.
Just like in the 3-6 hour long Immigration office line I witnessed at Toronto airport, there were few CUAET ppl in this line, so it’s already overloaded even before a major CUAET wave arrives in this city. In the popular destinations like Toronto or Vancouver, Canada Service lines must be a lot more serious.
4. Getting SIN after your turn comes takes around 5 minutes. You’ll be asked whether this is the first time you’re applying for a SIN, whether you ever changed your name/surname, whether you have twin or triplet siblings, and the names of your parents; also, your Canadian phone number and your address in Canada (a temporary one will suffice).
BTW, never tell ANYONE else your mother’s maiden name, for security reasons.
5. The SIN is a simple black and white printout paper. Along with it, you’ll get security instructions: you may ONLY tell your SIN to our trusted bank, the Taxation office of Canada, your employer, that’s it.
Beware, there were many cases in Canada where scammers (шахраї) phoned newcomers pretending they call from a Canadian government body, telling fake stories that you may get arrested or deported or charged a fee and asking people to tell their SIN. They may actually steal your money if they get your SIN. I met a guy from Spain who actually went through that.

More on CUAET registration matters in Canada:

– Arriving in Canada and the Immigration office https://www.facebook.com/groups/canadahostukrainians/posts/3190683421216621/

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