Applying for Important Documents

Once you arrive in Canada, there are some documents that you will need to apply for.

How to Open a Bank Account

If you are hoping to open a bank account or change financial institutions, you will need to go to the bank in person and show proper identification.

The Government of Canada (en français) has information that explains your rights and responsibilities to open a bank account or change financial institutions in Canada .

Driver’s License

You have to be at least 16 years old and have a valid Ontario driver’s license to drive in Ontario.

If you have a license from another province or country, you must apply for an Ontario driver’s license within 60 days of arrival. To learn more about transfering your license to Ontario, visit (en français).

Permanent Resident Card

A Permanent Resident Card is proof that you are approved to live in Canada and allows you to leave and re-enter the country.

Visit Immigration, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website (en français) if you are renewing or replacing your Permanent Resident has some frequently asked questions and answers on their website about this card.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a temporary resident, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Your first Social Insurance Number (SIN) is free, but it is required to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

You can learn more about applying for a Social Insurance Number by visiting the Government of Canada’s website (en français). You can then apply for a Social Insurance Number by visiting a local Service Canada Centre (en Français). When you go to apply, you will need to bring certain documents (en Français) with you. Your status in Canada will determine what documents you need to bring.

If you are applying from outside of Canada or if you live more than 100 kilometers away from our Service Canada Centre, then you can apply by mail by downloading an application form.

Health Card

If you want to get medical treatment in Ontario, you need to have an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.

This is a card that you need to apply for as soon as you arrive in Canada or Ontario. After you apply, there is a 3 month waiting time before you can start using it.

In order to apply for an OHIP card, you will need to fill out the application form and bring it to one of our Service Ontario OHIP offices. This form can be found online or at a Service Ontario OHIP office. There are 3 types of documents you need to bring when applying for a health card. has a list of people who are able to get OHIP.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website has more information on how to apply for an OHIP card.