Social Insurance Number - SIN

Social Insurance Number - SIN

If you want to work in Canada and be paid for the work or eventualy receive the social benefits you have to apply for a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as possible after arriving in Canada. It is a nine-digit number. If you are a permanent resident or a citizen of Canada, your SIN has an unlimited validity period. SIN with a limited time validity begins with "9", is issued for temporary residents of Canada and is valid for the duration of their work or study permit. The application shall be filed in person at branches "Service Canada". In justified cases (if there is no branch found within a distance of 100 km from your place of residence), you can apply by mail. Causeless applications sent by post will not be equipped. If you have everything in order, you will get your SIN in less than 15 minutes and you do not have to leave your passport anywhere. The first application for a SIN is free of charge.


How to apply for SIN:

Where you will get this form (you do not need to be complete it if you are going to apply in person):

  • at the airport, when you arrive or
  • from the website of Service Canada


Please bring to the office (You must provide original documents; photocopies are not accepted):

  • valid identity document/ passport;
  • temporary residents of Canada:
    • work permit or study permit, that you have to have pinned in your passport;
  • permanent residents of Canada:
    • confirmation of permanet residence or
    • permanet resident card or
    • record of landing etc.;
  • Canadian citizens:
    • Canadian birth certificate or
    • certificate of Canadian citizenship or
    • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad;
  • your address.


The nearest office of Service Canada you will find here: branches of the Service Canada


If you sent a request for SIN via mail, into the envelope you must wrap: original passport, the work permit and completed form. Due to the need to send the original passport, we recommend this option as a last one. This form of handling takes 20 working days from the receipt of your shipment, and so all the time you would be in Canada without any identification document (if you happen to have two valid passports by any chance). Service Canada is not responsible for the loss of the documents by post.



In the past, the plastic card with SIN was issued. But now the applicant will only receive the confirmation of the SIN. SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used.