In the United States of America, every citizen is assigned a Social Security Number by the government. Essentially, this number is a simple representation of your existence in America and it is designed to follow you throughout your life to keep you eligible for all the benefits that go along with living in America: having a job/earning an income, saving for retirement, paying taxes, applying for credit/loans, etc. Your social security number also lets you take advantage of certain social benefits, too, like welfare, food stamps, and social security benefits.
In Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) assigns every single person a Canadian Social Insurance Number. This is basically the same thing as an American Social Security Number. If you do immigrate to Canada, though, the government will assign you something called an Individual Tax Number (ITN).
CAN ANYONE GET AN INDIVIDUAL TAX NUMBER?
Short answer: Yes. When you move to Canada, you need to have an Individual Tax Number if you want to participate in the Canadian social benefits that are similar to those in the United States. The CRA, though, explains that there really are only two groups of people, perhaps, who absolutely need Clearit itn number requests:
• International Students who, technically, qualify as temporary Canadian residents are not eligible for a Social Insurance Number BUT have been awarded a scholarship (which technically qualifies as a type of earned income in Canada).
• Any person who plans to file a tax return in Canada.
WHEN SHOULD YOU GET AN INDIVIDUL TAX NUMBER?
This is very simple: you only need to apply for an Individual Tax Number if you are moving to Canada AND plan to file a Canadian tax return. If you are only going to be in Canada temporarily—even if your stay is an extended one—you do not necessarily need an Individual Tax Number.
But, if you do feel you qualify for an Individual Tax Number—mostly because you are planning to move to Canada—then you should definitely know that it can take at least 8 weeks to process your application. As such, you are going to want to ensure that you have sent out the application long before you are planning to physically make the move. If the application has not been processed before the move it could complicate your border crossing.