What Is an ITN and Do I Need One?
Every person born in the United State is assigned a social security number. The government issues these numbers, first of all, to identify you as a citizen. Secondly, though, these numbers are important for the purposes of providing you with various benefits that go along with living as an American. When you have a social security number you can have a job, file taxes, utilize welfare insurance, start a business, and, of course, set aside social security for the future.
In Canada, there is a similar system—the Social Insurance Number—which is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. The Canadian SIN is almost exactly like the American SSN. While the two are, essentially, the same, Canada and the United States differ in how they assign these numbers to immigrants. In the United States, an immigrant goes through a naturalization process and can acquire a social security number. In Canada, you cannot get a Social Insurance Number as an immigrant; instead, you can get an Individual Tax Number.
Who Can Get An Individual Tax Number?
Basically, any person who wants to move to Canada, on a permanent basis, can fill out Clearit itn number requests. Again, this is a program aimed at providing people with certain social benefits. To be more specific, though, there are really only two types of people who benefit from an ITN:
- International [college] students who would not otherwise be eligible for a Social Insurance Number and have received scholarships or other monetary awards for their schooling (because this, technically, counts as an “income”)
- Any other person who wishes to file a tax return in the country of Canada
When Should I Get An Individual Tax Number?
If you fit one of the two descriptions above then you only need to know that you can get your ITN at any point before or after you move to Canada. Again, you need this number to participate in certain government benefits so you could, technically, move to Canada without ever getting an ITN; though, it would be difficult to officially earn an income without an ITN.
If you believe that you will need an ITN, though, also keep in mind that it can take up to 8 weeks to process your request. Accordingly, you should start your application process as early as possible. You can download the application and get more information at the website: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca.