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After You Arrive

Social Insurance Number

A social insurance number (SIN) is a nine digit number that all residents are required to obtain in order to work and have access to government benefits and programs in Canada. When applying for your SIN you will have to go to the Service Canada building in your area and provide documentation upon your application process.

Who can apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
  • Canadian citizens, newcomers to Canada, temporary and permanent residents
  • Children who are 12 years of age or older
  • Parents and legal guardians can apply for a SIN for a child under the age of 12

Applying in person at a Service Canada Centre:

You will need one of the following pieces of documentation:
  • Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence and Visa counterfoil affixed to a foreign passport or travel document
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued prior to 1977 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • Record of Landing issued before June 28, 2002
  • Work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • Study permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and a contract of employment from the learning institution or employer on campus where you obtained authorization to study by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • Visitor record issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) indicating you are authorized to work in Canada
  • Diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)

Supporting documentation is required if the name on your primary document is different. This document is a legal document indicating the name you currently use. Your supporting documents must be an original document (no copies allowed)

In addition to your primary document, you will need to submit one of the following supporting documents, if required;
  • Certificate of marriage, record of solemnization of marriage or marriage statement
  • Legal change-of-name certificate or court document issued in accordance with provincial name legislation.
  • Notarial certificate, also called notarial adoption certificate, issued by the country of origin of a child adopted abroad and used by the adoptive parents to have the SIN card issued in the adopted child’s Canadian name.
  • Request to Amend Record of Landing issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and used to amend a Record of Landing or a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document.
Once you have gathered your primary and supporting documents you will need to take them to your nearest Service Canada Centre. If your application and documents are in order, you will receive a SIN in one visit and be given your card within 10 business days.

Applying by Mail

If you apply by mail, please follow these steps;
  • Download an application form from the Service Canada Web site, or order the form by phone at 1-800-206-7218. Select Option "3".
  • Send your completed application, original documents and payment, if required to:
    Service Canada

    Social Insurance Registration Office

    P.O. Box 7000
    Bathurst, New Brunswick
    E2A 4T1

  • If you send your application by registered mail, your documents and SIN card will be returned in the same way.
  • If your SIN application meets the requirements, you will receive your SIN card by mail within 20 business days from the date the application is received.


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