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Settling Issues

Once a new immigrant arrives in Canada there three important things that they must do:

  1. Apply for a Social Insurance Number.
  2. Apply for medical insurance.
  3. Open a bank account.


Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How to apply
To work in Canada, you require a Social Insurance Number (SIN).  You can apply for one at the port of entry (Canada Immigration Office) when you first arrive.  If you have not done this:

  1. Go to the nearest Canada Employment Centre
  2. Take two pieces of identification such as your passport, immigration papers, or birth certificate.  All documents must be originals.
  3. A plastic card bearing your SIN and a paper card to keep as a record will be mailed to you in about five to eight weeks.  Once you receive the place card, immediately sign it, and keep it with you.

There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number.  You will retain the number for life. Medical Insurance (OHIP)

 General Info

Every province has a taxpayer - funded health insurance program that provides inexpensive, high-quality health care.  Without it, health care costs are high.  

Once covered under medicare, you will receive a provincial health card with an identification number.  You must re-register if you move to another province.  Be sure to inform your insurance plan if you move, or if your family size or marital status changes as it may affect your coverage.

Medicare covers medical services, including physician fees and hospital costs, with the following exceptions:

  • examinations for employment or insurance purposes
  • telephone advice
  • cosmetic surgery
  • prosthesis (artificial body parts)
  • acupuncture
  • routine dental treatment.

If you don't know whether the treatment you desire is covered, ask  the person administering it.

Generally, to qualify for medicare in most provinces you must reside in that Province, you must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.  If you have temporary status, contact your Provincial healthcare agency to ask if healthcare coverage is available.

 How to apply

Contact the Provincial health care authority for an application.  In most instances, you will need your Social Insurance Number, copies of your visa or landed immigrant papers.  When your coverage begins, you will receive a Healthcare care with your name and personal health number.  Carry this card with you at all times.

 Bank Account

When you open any type of bank account, you will be asked for personal information and identification, including:

  • Your full name, address, date of birth, and telephone number.
  • At least two pieces of identification, which have your signature and/or photo on them.  Your passport and driver's license are best; a major credit card is also acceptable as one piece.  By law, you must provide your Social Insurance Number to your bank for any account that pays your interest.
  • If you are working, the name, address, and telephone number of your employer, and your occupation.
  • The name and telephone number of someone whom the bank can contact if they are unable to reach you (for example, your spouse or a relative over 18 years old).
  • A sample of your signature, written the say you would normally sign it on other bank forms, like cheques.

You will be asked to sign an account agreement and make a minimum deposit.  If you are making a large cash deposit, the law may require that you sign a declaration attesting to the source of the funds.