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Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number you need to work, file taxes and access government programs and benefits in Canada. There is no fee to apply for a SIN. 

As a temporary resident, you will be issued a temporary SIN that starts with the number 9

You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Store any documents containing your SIN and personal information in a safe place—do not keep your SIN with you.

Please note:

  • You need a valid study permit document (not study permit approval) for your SIN application.
  • SIN can only be issued to students who have a valid Study Permit indicating authorization to work in Canada.

Frequently asked questions

  • Where can I apply for my SIN?

    Service Canada is a government agency that issues SINs. 

    To get a SIN you can either:

    1. Visit the Service Canada location in person to get your SIN. To find the Service Canada location nearest to you and its hours of operation, visit the Service Canada website. 
    2. Apply online for your SIN - it is quick and easy. The eSIN portal offers a secure and protected environment where you can complete your SIN application and upload digital copies of your documents.
    3. Visit the SIN Clinics hosted on campus. Information will be sent in your email to all upcoming clinics. You can also check your Student Life Portal for upcoming clinics.
    4. Mail your completed SIN application form and all required documents to the Social Insurance Registration Office. For more details, visit Social Insurance Number – Apply.
  • What documents do I need to apply for my SIN?
    • Valid study permit* or work permit
    • Passport or government-issued identification (travel document)

    You can find a list of other documents you can bring on the Service Canada website. 

    *In order to be used as your primary document, your study permit must state one of the following conditions on it:
    • May work in Canada.
    • May accept employment in Canada.
    • Eligible to work in Canada.
  • What is the processing time?
    1. In person at Service Canada - processing time is instant. 
    2. Online application - you will receive a letter by mail with your SIN within 15 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 15 days since you applied online, and you have not received a letter, please contact the SIN Program.
      • If you provided your email address, you will receive an email confirming your application has been received and a second email when your application has been processed. If your application did not meet the requirements, you will receive an email containing guidance on what is required to obtain a SIN.
    3. SIN Clinics on campus - processing time is distant when you attend in person.
  • How do I extend my SIN?

    Temporary SINs will have expiration dates based on your status document expiration (i.e. your SIN will expire with your study permit). If you get a new immigration document ( ie; study permit or post-graduation work permit), you can extend your SIN.

    If your SIN is expired, you may continue to work while waiting for your new immigration document if you maintain your status during the processing.

    Once you have received your new study permit or post-graduation work permit, you must apply to Service Canada with your new immigration document to update the expiry date on your SIN record. The expiry date on both your SIN record and your immigration document must match.

    Once your SIN record is updated, you will receive the same SIN with a new expiry date. Your previous SIN (whether in a paper format or a plastic card) is no longer valid. Destroy it in a secure manner.

    There is no charge to extend your SIN. 

  • Will my employer hire me with an expired SIN?
  • If you have further questions about SIN who can you contact?
    You can contact Service Canada for further questions.