Canada Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Whether you have come to Canada as a permanent resident or are here as a temporary worker or a student, you will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you plan to work in Canada. The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. Your SIN is a very important number and forms the basis of many transactions in your day-to-day life in Canada. Employers use the SIN for payroll purposes and they are required to report to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You pay your taxes based on your SIN. Your SIN is also used by many institutions as a basis to provide you loans and credit cards.

In order to obtain a SIN you can visit the nearest Service Canada Centre. You can also do it by sending you application by mail. To download the application, click here. Here is the list of documents that you will need to apply –
  • If you are a Permanent Resident
    • Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence and visa counterfoil affixed to a foreign passport or a travel document
    • Record of Landing issued before June 28, 2002.
  • If you are a Temporary Resident
    • Work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
    • Study permit issued by CIC and a contract of employment from the learning institution or employer on campus where you obtained authorization to study by CIC (this contract must show the start and end date of employment and these dates must fall within the study permit dates).
    • Visitor record issued by CIC, indicating you are authorized to work in Canada.
    • Diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT).
  • If you are a Canadian Citizen
    • Certificate of Birth or Birth Certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the province or territory where you were born.
    • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
    • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued prior to 1977 by CIC
  • If you are a registered Indian
    • If you were born in Canada, you must submit your original primary document and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).
    • If you were born outside Canada, you must submit your original foreign birth certificate and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by INAC
All you supporting documents must be original and be in either English or French. In addition to your primary document, you will need to submit one of the following supporting documents with your application, if required:
  • Certificate of marriage, record of solemnization of marriage or marriage statement (or a similarly titled document, depending on the issuing authority) to support your family name after marriage. (Note: This does not apply to Quebec residents, regardless of where they were married after April 1, 1981).
  • Legal change-of-name certificate or court order document issued in accordance with provincial name legislation.
  • Adoption order certified by a Canadian Court (applies to adoptions in Canada only). Notarial certificate issued by the country of origin of a child adopted abroad and used by the adoptive parents to have the SIN card issued in the adopted child’s Canadian name.
  • Request to Amend Record of Landing issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and used to amend a Record of Landing or a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document.
Please visit the Service Canada website for more information on obtaining the Social Insurance Number