If you want to work in Canada or access any of the many government programs and benefits then you need to know how to get a social insurance number (SIN) if you don’t already have one.
A social insurance number is a 9-digit number that is private and illegal for anyone else to use.
It is one of the most important pieces of private information that you will ever have and is used on important documents like tax filings, RRSP contributions and employment records.
To get a social insurance number in Canada you will need to access Service Canada either online or in person.
And, knowing how tedious it can be to go through government screening, I’ve broken down how to actually get your SIN into an easy to follow checklist.
How To Get A Social Insurance Number In Canada
Here are the steps you need to take to get a social insurance number in Canada:
- Identify if you are applying for yourself, a child, or behalf of someone else
- Choose your description (citizen / permanent resident / temporary resident)
- Decide to apply in person or online
- Get original or digital copies of your required documents
- Submit Application
Below you will find more information on each step.
Who Can Apply For A Social Insurance Number?
Most likely you are looking to apply for a Social Insurance Number for yourself or a family member.
If you are applying for yourself then you need to make sure you qualify as a:
- Canadian citizen
- Permanent resident
- Temporary resident with a Work Permit
- Temporary resident with a Study Permit
Also, if you are registering a newborn baby and the child is under 1 year of age and, you did not register the birth with your province, you can apply for your child’s Social Insurance Number through your Newborn Registration Service.
Here is a list of Newborn Registration Services:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
What do I need to get my SIN number in Canada?
If you are applying online then you can create digital copies of original documents but if you are applying via the mail or in person you must submit the original copies.
The documents that you need to get a social insurance number are:
The following documents are allowed as primary documents for your SIN application:
- Canadian birth certificate
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship from the IRCC or CIC
- Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by CIC before 1977
The following documents are allowed as secondary documents for your SIN application:
- Passport (Canadian or other)
- Canadian provincial or territorial ID card
- Canadian drivers license
- any other Canadian government-issued ID with your legal name and date of birth
Make sure this document clearly displays your legal name and date of birth, or it will not be accepted.
Proof of Address
The following documents are allowed as proof of address for your SIN application:
- Signed letter from an organization or institution attesting to the mailing address of the applicant
- Employment contract showing your address
- A government letter showing your address
- A bill (telecom, utility, cable)
- Lease agreement
Make sure this document clearly states your address or, it will not be accepted.
How can I get my SIN number quickly?
If you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) quickly, you can now get one in person by visiting a Service Canada Centre (SCC) near you.
If you bring the right documents to prove your identity, you will get your SIN number that day.