Social Insurance Number

Social Insurance Number

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required to work and receive compensation in Canada. A SIN is a confidential nine-digit number that is issued to one person and cannot be used by anyone else. A SIN does not permit you to work in Canada, but it is required for you to receive payments. It is illegal for anyone to employ you without a SIN.

You are responsible for protecting your SIN. You are advised not to carry it with you on a day-to-day basis. It should be kept in a safe, secure location and only given to organizations or programs permitted to ask for it.

Example of a Social Insurance Number issued by Human Resources Development Canada.SINs that begin with the number 9 are issued to temporary residents who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A Social Insurance Number will be valid until the end of the authorized stay in Canada, as determined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (e.g., your SIN will expire at the same time as your work permit).

Applying for a Social Insurance Number

As part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Service Canada has introduced new ways to apply for a Social Insurance Number. Please follow this link for a list of documents needed to apply for a SIN.

Apply In-Person

Service Canada locations are beginning to gradually open and offer in-person services to those that live within 100 km of their location. Follow this link to find if a Service Canada office near you is open.

Apply Online

To apply for a SIN online you will need to provide clear and legible digital documents. Please ensure you prioritize your security and privacy when sharing this information online, it is recommended that you do not leave your device while completing the application. Follow this link to apply for a SIN online.

Apply By Mail

To apply for a SIN by mail you will need to send your completed application form and original documents through registered mail. Service Canada will return all documents submitted the same way they came, through registered mail. Service Canada is not responsible for documents lost in the mail.

Send your completed application form and original documents to:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB  E2A 4T1
Canada

During this time it is strongly encouraged to apply online or by mail, applying in person is only suggested if there is no other way to provide the necessary documents.

If you work at York on a temporary work permit, your SINs expiry date is usually the same as your work permit. You will need to extend your SIN card whenever you renew your work permit. You will be required to provide your York appointment letter as part of your SIN application.

Children who are twelve years of age or older may apply for their SIN or have their parent or legal guardian apply for them. For children under 12 years of age, the parent or legal guardian must provide documents for themselves and their child.

Please Note:

If you transition from a temporary foreign worker to a permanent resident, you must apply for a permanent SIN.

Click here to access the Immigration & Relocation Services Social Insurance Number help sheet.