Immigration and Settlement

It is important for newcomers to follow all procedures and to complete the right documentation before moving to Canada. For information on immigration to Canada, visit Service Canada.

YMCA Immigration Settlement Services

YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services can help you find housing, a job, and other supports that you might need when you arrive in Canada. They are a valued and trusted place to go. The YMCA can also connect you with other services in the community.

Contact settlement services

Phone: 519-752-4568

Fax: 519-752-6580


Identification and government documents

You will need new documents and identification in Canada. The most common are an Ontario Driver's Licence, Ontario Health Card, and Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Ontario Driver's License

What is a driver's licence?

  • A driver's license is an official government document that permits a person to operate a motorized vehicle such as a motorcycle, car, truck or bus on a public roadway.
  • In Ontario, a driver's licence is a one-piece plastic card.
  • It includes a photograph and signature of the driver, as well as other personal information.

Why should I get one?

  • If you plan to drive a car, motorcycle or truck in Canada you will need a driver's license.

How do I apply for a driver's licence?

  • Contact the nearest driver test centre. There are more than 56 centres across the province. You can book your driver's test online.
  • Be prepared to show proof of your legal name, date of birth (must state the day, month and year of birth) and signature.
  • If you have a driver's licence from another country, you may not need to take a driving test. Ask a staff member about your old licence.
  • Study the Official Drivers Handbook.
  • Take the written test.
  • Book your road test online.

What happens after I get my driver's licence?

  • Get insurance on your vehicle for all drivers in your family. Insurance is required by law.
  • Keep the information on your licence updated. Every time you move you need to report the change to the Ministry of Transportation.

For more information, visit the

Ontario Health Card

What is a health card?

A health card is a government-issued document that allows you to get health care services from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Health cards are often referred to as OHIP cards in Ontario.

Why should I get one?

A resident of Ontario must have a health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP.

How do I apply for an Ontario Health Card?

  • You must meet certain requirements to apply. It will take at least three months to take effect.
  • You must complete a registration form for Ontario Health Coverage.
  • You must bring three original documents to prove that you are eligible, citizenship/immigration status, your residence in Ontario, and your identity.
  • For more information about applying, visit the Service Ontario website

What happens after I get my health card?

  • Carry your health card at all times.
  • You may be charged for a health service if you do not have your health card.
  • If your address changes, you are required by law to inform the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • Keep your card safe. Do not share your health card with people you don't know or don't trust.

For more information, visit Ontario Immigration.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

What is a SIN?

A SIN is a nine-digit, unique number that you need to work in Canada or access government programs and benefits.

Why should I get a SIN card?

It's the only way to work in Canada or to access government programs such as health care.

How do I apply for a SIN?

Apply in person:

  • To apply in person, gather the documents you need and visit the nearest Service Canada Centre.
  • If everything is in order, you will receive your SIN in one visit and your card within 10 business days.
  • There is no cost for the first application.

Apply by mail:

  • Download an application form from the Service Canada website.
  • Send the application with original copies.
  • A fee may apply if the SIN card needs to be replaced.
  • You will receive your SIN card within 20 business days after the application has been received.

What happens after I get my SIN card?

  • Only provide your SIN if you know that it is legally required. By doing this, you can reduce chances of identity theft.
  • Never provide your SIN over the phone or by email.
  • Be prepared to use your SIN card when: accepting a job contract, filling your income tax, applying for any government benefit such as employment insurance, child tax benefits, and social assistance benefits.
  • Inform Service Canada if your card is lost.
  • Always keep your card in a safe place.
  • Do not share your SIN card with people you don't know or don't trust.

For more information, visit Service Canada.