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How To Get a Social Insurance Number?

How To Get a Social Insurance Number?

Citizens of Canada permanent or temporary residents need the Social Insurance Number (SIN), a 9-digit number issued in Canada primarily to work and to administer various government programs and benefits of Canada.

The purpose of Canadian Social Insurance Number is to identify you when you file your personal income taxes, open a bank account or to access government programs and benefits which include Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and many more.

Parents are individuals who are legitimately authorized to follow up on the behalf of the applicant ( for instance, a legal guardian or lawful representative) can likewise apply for a SIN for children under the majority age group in their province and grown-ups in their care.

If you’re eligible to work in Canada, you can get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) which includes 

  • Canadian Citizens
  • Permanent Residents
  • Temporary Residents (Including foreign workers, foreign students etc)
  • Some Refugee Claimants

However, you can apply for Canadian SIN in 3 ways, In-person, Online or By mail (in certain circumstances)

To get a Social Insurance Number in Canada, get an application form from the nearest Service Canada Centre or get an application form online

In- person application requirement 

Bring all the necessary documents for the nearest Service Canada Centre with the application form. All your documents must be original as photocopies are not accepted. 

If you’re a Candian Citizen, you need to provide original document of one of the following :

  • Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad

For Permanent Residents ( sometimes called “landed immigrants”) must provide one of the following documents:

  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by IRCC
  • Verification of Status issued by IRCC or CIC

If you’re a Temporary Resident including foreign workers and foreign students need to provide an original of one of the following :

  • Work Permit issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada or Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Study Permit issued by CIC and IRCC stating that you are authorized to work in Canada. 
  • Visitors record that verifies that they are authorized to work in Canada
  • Diplomatic Identity Card
  • If all the documents are filed in order, you can get your number the day you file in your application as well. 

Online application requirements

To apply SIN online, you need documents confirming your status in Canada, secondly documents verifying your identity and thirdly documents showing proof of address with the application form provided at Social Insurance Number Application (SIN)

SIN application over mail

You can apply for SIN over mail if you live more than 100km from the nearest Service Canada Centre. If you’re in a situation which makes it difficult to apply in-person, find help at Find Services Near Me to check your eligibility for applying by mail. 


A SIN is issued to one person at a time and cannot be used by anyone else. It is mandatory to fill the application for Canadian SIN in either English or French.  

Do not carry around your SIN with you, store documents including personal 

info and SIN information in a safe space. 

SINs for temporary residents and refugees comes with an expiration date mentioned 

on it.

However, if you are parents of a newborn, learn about how to apply for SIN for your child at Social Insurance Number – Newborn Registration - Canada.ca 

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