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Banking, Social Insurance Number, Citizenship and Immigration

Immigration and Visa Information

For this information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration website. You can also call (416) 973-4444 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.).

Social Insurance Number

If you are being paid by CITA, opening a bank account in Canada, or plan on applying for the Provincial Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), you will need to get a Social Insurance Number. To apply for one please take your passport, the letter of invitation from CITA and your applicable immigration documentation issued by Immigration Canada to:

Canada Employment Office
General Inquiries 730-1211
25 St. Clair St. E., 1st floor,
Toronto ON
Tel: 1-800-206-7218

To go there in person, take the subway to the St. Clair Subway station.

Banking

For long-term visitors arriving from outside Canada and need to open a Canadian bank account, there is a waiting period that may be as much as 20 working days. You should therefore bring credit/debit cards, cash, or traveler's cheques. You should carry enough of these to cover your expenses for a month; note that many rental units require first and last month's rent before signing a lease. You should also open your bank account as soon as possible with a small deposit since the first deposit, even if cash or traveler's cheques, is often held for several weeks before you can draw on it.

There is no clear consensus on the best bank to use. Nearby banks include the Bank of Montreal (at the corner of University and College or St. George and Bloor), the Royal Bank at Harbord and Spadina, TD Bank at University and Dundas, and CIBC at College and Spadina. You may also want to check out the Unicoll Credit Union (245 College St.) which offers a number of services not provided by banks. Each bank has different service charge rates. You should take your passport and another piece of ID such as a major credit card to open an account.

You can open a US dollar chequing account at all of these banks; cheques from such an account should be accepted in the US as widely as cheques drawn on US banks.