Essential documents for newcomers

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Health Card

  1. Register for health coverage as soon as you arrive.
  2. The Manitoba Health card lets you:
    • see a doctor
    • get a prescription for medicine
    • go to a hospital emergency room
    • use other health services
  3. Permanent residents are eligible for coverage on their date of arrival in Manitoba when proof of Permanent Resident Status is provided or on the date Permanent Resident Status is granted.
  4. If you came from another province or territory, coverage will begin on the first day of the third month after your arrival in Manitoba. Residents moving from one province/territory to another will be covered by their home province/territory during the waiting period.
  5. Where to apply: Manitoba Health, 300 Carlton St., Winnipeg MB.
  6. What to bring:
    • Completed Manitoba Health Registration Form. Form also available at:
      • City of Winnipeg, 510 Main St., Winnipeg, MB
      • For rural areas: Contact city or municipal office.
        Toll free: 1-800-392-1207 or TTY/TTD: 711 or 1-800-855-0511.
    • Permanent Resident Confirmation card (copy of both sides) or Record of Landing (IMM 1000).
    • Previous province’s/territory’s health card (if applicable).
  7. Fee/Cost: No fee.
  8. For more info: Tel. no.: 204-786- 7101; Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  1. You need a SIN to:
    • work in Canada
    • receive benefits and services from the government
  2. The SIN is confidential.
    • It is a key to your personal information.
    • Keep it secret.
    • Someone else can use it fraudulently.
  3. Share only when legally required.
  4. Read Your Social Insurance Number: A Shared Responsibility.
  5. Where to apply:
    • Find a Service Canada Office.
    • Apply by mail if you live 100 km or more from a Service Canada office.
      • Or if you are unable to apply in person
      • Or if you need a representative to apply for you
      • Call 1-800-206-7218 (select option #3) for instructions.
    • If you are applying from outside Canada, see requirements here.
  6. What to bring:
    • Primary proof of identity (one of these original documents):
      • Permanent Resident Card (issued by IRCC)
      • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (issued by IRCC)
    • Supporting documents
    • Required if the name on your primary proof is different from the name you use now:

      • certificate of marriage
      • marriage statement
      • court order document
      • adoption order
      • notarial certificate
      • others
    • Applying for your child? Go to this link.
    • Documents must be in English or French.
    • If not, official translations must be:
      • notarized
      • or prepared by an officer of a foreign government
      • or prepared by an officer of the British or Canadian Consulate
  7. Fee/Cost: No fee.
  8. For more info: Service Canada
    • Or call 1-800-206-7218; TTY 1-800-926-9105
    • From outside Canada: 506-548-7961 (long distance charges apply).

Permanent Resident Card

  1. It is proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada.
  2. It is a wallet-sized plastic card.
  3. You must show it if you leave and enter Canada from another country.
  4. Mailed after a month if you supplied a Canadian mailing address in your visa application. No need to apply.
  5. If you did not give an address: send online within 180 days of landing.
  6. If you need to apply for a PR card, do it online.
  7. Apply if:
    • you have gone beyond the 180-day deadline
    • you have lost your card
    • your card expired
    • you legally changed your name
  8. You will need:
  9. Fee/Cost: $50.
  10. For more info: IRCC

Bank account

  1. A bank account keeps your money safe.
  2. It can give you access to services such as:
    • loans
    • mortgages
    • investments
  3. Employers will ask for a bank account when you start working.
    • This is where they will send your salary.
  4. Read the article Financial institutions in Manitoba for tips in choosing a bank.
  5. Where to go:
    • Visit banks near you (or go to their websites).
    • Compare services and benefits.
    • Choose one that fits your needs.
    • Banks offer accounts especially for newcomers.
  6. What to bring:
    • Two pieces of ID. Examples:
      • PR card
      • passport
      • SIN card
      • driver’s licence
      • employee photo card
  7. Call the bank to know how to open an account or visit their website.
  8. Fee/Cost: Opening an account is free.
    • There may be service fees for keeping your account.
    • Fees vary per bank and type of account.
  9. For more info: Banking for newcomers

Driver’s Licence

  1. You can use a valid driver’s licence from another country for up to three months upon landing.
  2. To apply for a Manitoba license, you have to:
    • be at least 16 years old
    • pass a knowledge test
    • pass a road test
    • You don’t need to take the tests if you come from a reciprocal country.
  3. How to apply:
  4. What to bring:
    • Proof of identity that shows:
      • your birth date
      • full legal name
      • signature
      • photograph
      • Manitoba residence and permanent address
      • entitlement to be in Canada
    • Read: list of approved documents.
  5. Read New to Manitoba and follow the steps for applying.
  6. Fee/Cost: Schedule of Charges.
  7. For more info: Manitoba Public Insurance.
  8. Tel. No.: 204-985-7000; Toll free: 1-800-665-2410; TTY/TTD: 204-985-8832.

Article updated as of October, 2019. As this is only a guide, please verify with the proper agency depending on the document or service that you need before applying as requirements, processing times and fees may change.

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