The SIN application process in Canada.

One of the first things a new Canadian must do is apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). list of things to do when you get there in Canada If you're here on a temporary or a person who has made their home in the country permanently Obtaining a SIN is mandatory if you plan to work in Canada or use any federally funded programs or services.

A lot of newcomers don't know that there are some places where it is not safe to give out your SIN. Learn more about the SIN application process and how to keep your number secure in this article so you can avoid needless financial risks in Canada.

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Why do we need a SIN (Social Insurance Number)?

To be eligible for employment in Canada, you must have a nine-digit Social Insurance Number (SIN). submit tax paperwork to participate in public services and programs The government can use your SIN to uniquely identify you.

Who in Canada needs a SIN

All Those who live in Canada , Both Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) need a SIN in order to work legally and access public services and benefits in Canada.  

Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in Canada are issued temporary Social Insurance Numbers (SINs). Your Social Security Number will begin with the number nine and will expire on the same date as your passport. Employment Authorization Document

SINs are also required of international students who plan to work and receive a student visa. earn money while you're in school the condition that study license authorizes this usage in a definite way

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If you want to work legally in Canada, you must provide your SIN to your new employer. A SIN application should be submitted well in advance of starting a new job to ensure timely onboarding.

In Canada, how do I go about obtaining a Social Insurance Number?

There are three ways to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in Canada: online, in person at a Service Canada Centre, or by mail.

A child can apply for their own SIN once they reach the age of 12. If your child is under the age of majority in your province, you, as their parent, legal guardian, or legal representative, can apply for a SIN on their behalf.

Online SIN application

You can Put in an online application for a SIN via Canada's official portal for government information Those who are just arriving in Canada will need to fill out a special form and select the "First Social Insurance Number" option from the drop-down menu. In order to upload, Electronic Replicas original documents, and your SIN will be mailed to you within 15 days.

Hand-delivered SIN applications at local SCBs

Appointments can be made at any The Heart of Canadian Service the Social Security Number (SIN) in person Don't forget to bring your first drafts of documents and get your SIN right there at the office

Submitting a SSN application through the mail

If you prefer to apply for a SIN by printing out a copy of the form and mailing it in with your papers that were originally created to the address below:

Help Desk Canada

Agency for Registration of Social Insurance

PO Box 7000

Postal Code: E2A 4T1 Bathurst, New Brunswick


You cannot use a photocopy of your official paperwork. Within 25 days of submitting your application, you will receive your SIN and original supporting documents via mail.

Does applying for a SIN in Canada cost anything?

When applying for a SIN in Canada, there are no costs involved.  

Essentials for Obtaining a Social Security Number

What proof of identity is required to apply for a Social Insurance Number in Canada will vary according to your immigration status. All the paperwork you submit needs to be official, legible, and written in either English or French.

Your original documents, if not in English or French, must be translated into one of those languages and an affidavit or attestation from the translator must be included.

SIN applications for new permanent residents

As a permanent resident, you must submit the following paperwork in order to apply for a Social Security Number (SIN):

Generally speaking, there is only one primary identity document that Select one from the following:

  • Proof of your status as a permanent resident of Canada, such as a valid passport.
  • Your Certificate of Permanent Residence (COPR) and either a valid photo ID issued by a provincial or territorial government (like a driver's license) or a valid travel document (like a passport) showing proof of your current address outside of Canada. Identification card for driving in Canada ) To reiterate, your COPR will only be accepted if your PR in Canada was granted within the past 12 months.
  • If your landing record was created before June 28, 2002, congratulations!

Proof of identity with one other piece of documentation Full legal name and birth date must be included on your secondary form of identification. As an example, some combination of the following

  • You need to show us your passport from another country
  • Valid photo identification from a province or territory in Canada (such as a driver's license)
  • Alternative Canadian government-issued identification

Mail-in applications do not necessitate a second form of identification.

A person's primary and secondary forms of identification cannot be the same.

The Addressing Party Must Provide: If you submit your SIN application online, you'll need to prove that you live at the address you provided. A letter of attestation or government-issued document signed by your landlord or employer will suffice.

If you apply for your SIN through the mail or in person at a Service Canada center, you will not be asked to provide proof of address.

Tips Icon Tip:
Newcomers can verify their temporary residence with a utility bill or a bank statement. When applying by mail, you have the option of specifying an address other than your own to receive your SIN.

The necessary supporting evidence: Your SIN application will need a legal document showing your most recently used legal name if it differs from the name on your primary and/or secondary documents.  

Making a SIN application as a visitor

Temporary residents, such as TFWs and international students, must submit additional documentation when applying for a SIN.

Just one primary proof of identity choose one from the following:

  • A current and valid work permit to work in Canada
  • Certification that your Canadian study visa is still active and that you are eligible to work in Canada
  • The proper paperwork to legally work in Canada as a tourist
  • A valid Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development issued diplomatic identification card or work permit.

A secondary form of identification, a current address, and other supporting documents are required, just like they are for citizens. To view the complete list, click the link above.

It's important to remember that if you change your immigration status from temporary to permanent, your Social Security number will no longer begin with 9. A new Social Security number can be used for a variety of official documents, including tax returns, payroll, and more.

Getting a SIN for your kiddos

Canadian citizenship is automatically conferred upon a child born in the country. , a SIN can be applied for on their behalf during the birth registration process. provincial Vital Statistics Registry

To put it another way, if you're relocating to Canada with your loved ones and you're eligible to apply for a SIN on behalf of a minor or dependent child In addition to your own primary and secondary forms of identification and proof of residence (as detailed in the sections above on applying for a SIN as a permanent resident or temporary resident), you'll also need to provide your child's primary form of identification.

Do I need to wait to get my SIN before I can start working in Canada?

When you find your first employment You'll need to give your Canadian employer your SIN if you're a newcomer. For tax purposes, your employer will need your SIN number. withholdings from paychecks in addition to paying taxes and making donations to the Pension Plan of Canada (CPP) and Income Protection (I.P.) and I'm doing this for you  

Your SIN application should be submitted as soon as possible after your arrival in Canada. You need to apply for a SIN no later than three days after starting work for a company in Canada if you were offered a job before you arrived and intend to start working soon after you land. While waiting for your SIN to arrive in the mail, you can start working after submitting your application and providing your employer with the confirmation number.

If my SIN has changed, how do I update my profile?

It is your responsibility to ensure that your Social Security number and all associated information is always correct. In order to make changes to your SIN record, you must submit an application to do so along with the necessary documents. It's possible to do this just as you did when you first applied for your SIN. online both in-person and through the mail

The following are reasons to change your SIN:

  • If your SIN record has an error, it must be updated immediately.
  • Change in your official name
  • You are no longer a Canadian citizen.
  • One of your immigration documents (like a work permit or student visa) has a new expiration date. Extending the Permission to Study )

You don’t Your Social Security Number (SSN) record must be updated if you move, unless you are still awaiting your SSN or confirmation of SSN letter in the mail.

Whom may I give my SIN number to?

The only people who need access to your SIN are those on the following lists because it is a confidential document:

You still shouldn't do it, even if you're asked to. not required by law to disclose your SIN when applying for jobs (before you're offered the position), furnished apartments for rent for academic purposes (at a college, university, Finance-related Goods including but not limited to loans, credit cards, and home equity lines mortgages

Safeguarding Your Social Security Number

You should remember the following to safeguard your Social Security number:

  • Don't forget to put away your SIN and avoid carrying it with you.
  • Don't use your Social Security number as a form of identification.
  • Never give out your Social Security number unless required by law.
  • If you call a government agency that requires your SIN by law, such as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), then only give out your SIN over the phone to those agencies. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Service Canada (Service Canada), or any other government agency, hang up immediately and do not give out your Social Insurance Number (SIN). Possible causes include scam
  • When receiving an email that requests personal information, such as your Social Security number, delete it immediately.
  • If you no longer need paper copies of documents containing your SIN, shred them securely. It is important to remember that you have a legal obligation to keep your tax records, such as T4 slips and income tax returns, for a minimum of six years.
  • Changes to your name, citizenship, or the length of time your status is valid must be reflected in your SIN record.
  • If you have any reason to believe that your SIN has been stolen, you must act immediately.

Reasons why your Social Security number needs to be safeguarded

Intentionally or unintentionally disclosing your Social Security number can have devastating results. If someone were to gain access to your SIN without your knowledge, it would be a serious breach of your privacy and could lead to the following:

  • Theft of personal information: What Happens If Your SIN Is Used to Steal Your Identity?  
  • Loss of tax credits or other governmental aid: Theft of identity can occur if another person submits an application for a loan, credit card, or government benefit in your name, or if they file a tax return or benefit claim using your Social Security number.
  • Unfavorable effects on your credit rating: Someone else using your SIN to apply for credit or commit fraud could have a devastating and long-lasting effect on you. credit rating together with the past
  • Increasing tax rates: Your tax liability may increase if someone else uses your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work illegally in Canada.

Explaining how to report SIN fraud

If you believe your Social Security Number has been used fraudulently, please contact the authorities as soon as possible by following these instructions:

  • Get a copy of the police report after filing one: Include your name and SIN number in the police report.  
  • Please get in touch with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: If you suspect SIN fraud, you can report it to them via in reference to their website or at 1-888-495-8501 if you prefer.
  • Report the issue to the credit reporting companies: What you must do is allow. There is a Canadian Equifax branch, Equifax Canada. and We, at TransUnion Canada, realize you've been a target of identity theft Ask for copies of your credit report and details on how to add a fraud warning to your file so that creditors will contact you before opening new accounts in your name.
  • Creditors who have made unauthorized credit inquiries into your account may be spotted with a little due diligence: You should notify any lenders from whom you did not request credit if you notice inquiries on your credit report. If they've opened any new accounts without your knowledge, have them close them or send you a cancellation request.
  • Make sure you review your bank and credit card statements for any unusual activity: If you make any unusual purchases or withdrawals from your account, you should report it immediately.
  • When you suspect SIN fraud, contact Service Canada. Include the police report, your primary form of identification, and evidence that your Social Security number has been stolen.  

What to do if you lose your SIN card

If you've misplaced your Social Security number, you can track it down by looking at your tax documents, tax return, or employment history. If you don't have the originals on hand, you can also send in your application verification of your SIN

Forget about getting a replacement Social Insurance Number from Service Canada if something happens to yours and it gets lost or stolen; they won't do it unless you can prove that it was used fraudulently.

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required in order to work or receive government benefits in Canada whether you are a permanent resident, temporary foreign worker, or an international student. You, the newcomer, should get a SIN right away and keep the information tied to it current. Always keep in mind that your SIN is personal information that is solely your responsibility to safeguard; it should only be revealed to third parties when required by law.

Insights from our legal team

This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the counsel of an attorney, accountant, or other qualified professional. If you have questions about your specific situation, you should speak with a professional advisor. While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information provided, we cannot guarantee its accuracy and it should not be relied upon as exhaustive treatment of the subjects presented. As of the date of publication, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and are subject to change. Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries do not provide or imply an endorsement of any third-party advice, opinion, information, product, or service.

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