To work in Canada or gain access to government programs and benefits, you need a SIN (equivalent to a tax №). Your SIN is private, so be careful when sharing it with others.
The government issues your SIN free of charge. Without your SIN card you will not be able to work, have a bank account, have access to health insurance from the government, or receive financial assistance, etc. You need to keep your SIN number secure.
This article is intended for Ukrainians who flew here after the war using a new temporary visa program (3 years) with the opportunity to work (Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET)).
Documents required to obtain a SIN:
1) Temporary Resident Permit (document issued at the airport upon entry into Canada)
2) Passport or driver’s license (with photo, in English)
3) Proof of address, if you apply online. This can be any document issued by the government, a private company or a landlord. Your name must be in this document.
a) In Person: at the Service Canada branch (search for a branch here). No Proof of Address is required in this case. Due to covid, all these centers are “by appointment only”, but it is still possible to come and wait in line. There is a chance that the oﬃce will be able to receive you without a prior appointment.
Request a phone call from Service Canada here to book your appointment. You will be called back and can choose your appointment time with an agent . This will be either in English or French (it is possible to request another language, but this may increase the waiting time for the call). Usually, they call within two business days, and you can make an appointment for the next week. SINs are issued immediately at pick-up.
b) Online: ﬁll out the form online, and add scanned copies of your original documents (work permit, visa, passport, conﬁrmation of address). You will receive a conﬁrmation email once you ﬁll out the form . This process may take up to 15 business days.
c) By mail: not recommended. It is the same process as the online application, but you will need to send the original documents by mail. This takes the longest and there is a possibility of losing your documents in the mail. Instructions to apply by mail can be found here.
You can get a bank account at any bank in Alberta. You can use your bank account details when applying to AB Health as proof of address. For details on which banks offer promotional services for newcomers click here.
If you have a driver’s license from Ukraine, it is valid for 90 days after arrival in Canada. After that, you will need an Alberta driver’s license.
Your previous driving history will be taken into account when you apply for your Alberta license.
If you did not have a driver’s license in Ukraine, you will have to take a written exam on Alberta traﬃc rules, as well as one or two driving tests. A driver’s license is an oﬃcial identity card. The possibility of transferring a driver’s license to an Alberta driver’s license depends on how long you will live in Alberta and the type of visa you acquire. For more information, please visit click here.
Currently, Ukrainians who have a category B or B-E license can exchange their Ukrainian license for a Class 5 license in Alberta. The new Alberta license will be valid for one-year.
Alberta Personal ID Card
If you have a driver’s license, you do not need to obtain an Alberta Personal ID card. An Alberta Personal ID card is useful to obtain and for people who do not drive. The minimum age to obtain your Alberta Personal ID card is 12 years old. It is also considered an oﬃcial identity card. For more information, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/get-id-card.aspx
Required documents to obtain your ID card: passport, visa, proof of address
Ukrainian newcomers who arrived in Alberta after February 24 will be covered by a new program of temporary beneﬁts for newcomers. This program will provide temporary health insurance coverage for all Ukrainian migrants, even if they are not eligible for registration and coverage under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). Ukrainian migrants are temporarily eligible for medical care even before receiving an Alberta health insurance card Care Card. However, all newcomers must apply for AB Health Care. You can read more below.
This article is intended for Ukrainians who ﬂew here after the start of the war using a new temporary visa program.
The Government of Alberta provides general health care to residents of the province through the Alberta Health Insurance Plan. This plan pays for basic medical services, such as family visits and emergency medical care (ambulance, hospital). It is important to understand that the government does not pay for everything. Here is information on coverage.
There are options for private insurance that cover the rest.
As a Canadian citizen, permanent resident / work visa, you pay for this program through income tax.
To join the Alberta Health Insurance Plan, you must obtain an AB Health Card (often referred to as your health card) and present it every time you use medical services. The card conﬁrms that you are entitled to medical services in Alberta. The whole family should register together.
1. At the Alberta Registry – it’s something like the Ukrainian МРЕО. Use this form to search for a branch.
You need to submit these documents in person.
2. By mail: to the address
Ukrainian Evacuee Temporary Health Beneﬁts Program (UETHBP)
Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan
PO Box 1360, Station M
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2N3
Sending the original documents by mail will take the most amount of time from the options and poses the risk of losing your documents.
It may take up to 5 days to receive and review your application, and it will take the same amount of time to send the new card back to the address indicated in the questionnaire.
In Alberta, provincial health insurance is available from the day you arrive, however, you will not be able to get a card on the ﬁrst day of your stay in Canada. If you have any medical expenses, they can be reimbursed later by Alberta provincial health insurance if they are covered. To contact the Insurance Oﬃce phone (780) 427-1432.
For additional information, click here
Read more in Ukrainian about obtaining Canadian documents here: