How to apply for social insurance number? A Social Security Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number you need to work in Canada, file taxes, or access government programs and benefits. You must apply for a SIN if you intend to work in Canada. If you are an international student, having a SIN alone is not enough to get you to work in Canada. Make sure you qualify to work in Canada.
Follow the instructions below for your situation to apply for a SIN.
Who needs a Social Insurance Number?
If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or temporary resident, you need a Social Security Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.
Children from 12 years old can apply for their SIN. Parents, guardians or legal representatives can request the SIN for minor children in their province and the adults in their care.
When do I apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
Employers must request the SIN of all new employees as soon as they are hired. You can apply for a SIN before you start working or up to three days after your start date. A SIN is also required for tax purposes.
How To Apply For Social Insurance Number?
You can request your SIN in person at the nearest Service Canada center. There are no costs associated with the first application.
Employment and Development Canada has a dedicated helpline for SIN numbers at 1-800-206-7218 (option #3); Contact details for Employment and Development Canada.
Applying For Social Insurance Number Canada Online
How To Apply For Social Insurance Number As An International Student
We recommend that you apply for a SIN online. You can also apply by email or request an appointment in person if you encounter any obstacles when applying online.
If you are outside Canada and have a work or study permit, you can request a new or renewed SIN or confirmation of a SIN online, even if you do not have a Canadian mailing address.
In addition to your study or work permit, you need your passport and proof of address.
Check the conditions of your study permit
To be eligible for a SIN you must have a study permit with at least one of the following conditions:
- “You may accept on- or off-campus employment if you meet the eligibility criteria, per Section R186(f), (v), or (w) and must stop working if you no longer meet these criteria”
- “You may work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if you meet the criteria outlined in Section 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”
- “You can accept employment on the campus of the institution where you have registered for full-time study”
- You can also apply if you have a work permit, such as a cooperative work permit, a work permit after graduation, or partner maintenance.
If your study permit does not indicate that you are allowed to work
If you are eligible to work as a student in Canada, but do not meet any of the above-listed study permit conditions, you will need to “modify” or “change” the conditions of your study permit depending on your situation:
- If a mistake was made when issuing your study permit, you must adjust your study permit.
- If your situation has changed and you have now switched to a program that makes you eligible to work off-campus, for example, you previously studied English as an additional language, and are now a degree-seeking student, you will need to change the terms of your study permit, which is the same process as a study permit extension.
- You can apply for a SIN after you have received your new study permit with working conditions.
What documents do I need to obtain a SIN?
A valid study permit with at least one of the following conditions/remarks:
You can accept employment on the campus of the institution where you have registered for full-time study
You can work 20 hours off campus or full-time during regular breaks if you meet the criteria set out in IRPR Section 186(v)**
Your SIN numbers after applying
International students are given a SIN that begins with the number “9,” which informs employers that they are temporary residents of Canada.
Your SIN will remain the same unless you become a permanent resident. In that case, you can request a new SIN that does not start with the number ‘9’.
You can accept a job on or off-campus if you meet the eligibility criteria under R186 (f), (v), or (w). You must stop working if you no longer meet these criteria
If your study permit does not meet any of the above conditions or comments, you must apply to change your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. There are no costs associated with this application. The change application can only be submitted by post and according to the Immigration Canada website, the current processing time for changes is 1 month. Include a copy of your original admission letter and proof of registration with the change request.
Study programs are not eligible
Students are not eligible if any of the following apply:
- They are enrolled in a public interest program.
- The SIN starts with the number “9”. Your SIN will expire on the date indicated in the “expires on” field of the letter. This expiration date is based on the Canadian immigration document that authorizes you to work in Canada.
What if I’ve kept my status and am eligible to work, but don’t have a Social Security Number (SIN) yet (or my SIN has expired)?
If you renew your Student status, you can legally continue to work under the same conditions as a student. If you previously had a SIN, you can continue to work on your expired SIN until it is renewed. If you’ve never had a SIN, Service Canada won’t issue one until you get your new study permit; however, you may be able to work; consult an ISS advisor for more information.
If you applied for your Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP) before your study permit expired, you can work legally while you wait for your PGWP. If you previously had a SIN, you can continue to work on your expired SIN until it is renewed. If you have never had a SIN, Service Canada will not issue one until you have your PGWP; however, you may be able to work; consult an ISS advisor for more information.
Where do I get a SIN?
- Downtown Montreal/Southwest Montreal Service Center Canada
- Guy-Favreau Complex, Office 034
- 200 Rene-Lévesque Blvd West
- Montreal, Quebec
- Phone: 1-800 O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232)
- Fax: 514-496-5951
The nearest center to McGill’s Macdonald Campus is:
- Pointe-Claire Service Center in Canada
- 6500, Transcanadienne route, ground floor, room 100
- Pointe-Claire, Quebec
- Phone: 1 800 622-6232
For other locations, call 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232) or use the Service Canada online locator.
Keep your SIN valid
Your SIN generally has the same expiration date as your study or work permit.
Renewing your SIN
Make sure you keep your SIN valid by renewing your SIN when you extend your temporary residencies in Canada, such as getting your extended study permit or postgraduate work permit. If you have a cooperative work permit and have already received a SIN for your study permit, you do not need to apply for another SIN.
To renew your SIN, follow the same steps as requesting a new SIN number.
If you applied for a new study or work permit before your current document became invalid and you have not yet received your new document, you can continue to use the same SIN while waiting for your permit to be issued while in “retained status”. “As long as you stay in Canada.
Keeping Your SIN Safe
Your SIN is considered sensitive personal information that should not be shared; make sure you protect your SIN. Beware of fraudulent phone calls or emails asking for your SIN or other personal information.
Conclusion – How To Apply For Social Insurance Number
The above post contains information on how to apply for social insurance number in Canada. You can apply via email, phone call, online, or by visiting their office yourself.