A Quick Guide to the Canadian Social Insurance Number

What is the Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

To work in Canada or participate in government programs and services, you must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Having a SIN means that you are the only one who may use your tax identification number (SIN). It is your responsibility to keep your SIN confidential.

If you wish to learn more about how to handle your (SIN) and the benefits of having one in Canada, we’ve provided helpful information in the following sections for you to consider.

Published on November 4, 2021

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Benefits of Having a Social Insurance Number in Canada

💼 Higher Chances of Landing a Job in Canada

For Canadian citizens and permanent or temporary residents to work in Canada and obtain government benefits and services, they must secure a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

If you don’t have a SIN, chances are you may not get a job in Canada.

woman landing a job due to having a social security number in Canada
It's important to have a SIN in Canada due to the many benefits it offers.

💰 Eligibility to File Income Taxes and Receive a Tax Refund

A taxpayer gets a tax refund when he has paid more income taxes than what is required of him. When you have a SIN, you’ll receive a tax refund annually.

🤝 Access to Benefits and Services from Government Programs

With a SIN, you’ll have the ability to access government programs and benefits, such as Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). These programs offer benefits such as loans and retirement and disability pensions.

How to Apply for Social Insurance Number (Requirements and Process)

In-Person Application

You may submit your SIN application in person at one of the Service Canada Centers. They help Canadians living within 100 kilometers of their residence and cannot access their SIN online due to personal difficulties. The requirements needed to bring along with you as you apply in person are:

Online Application

For online applications, you will need to apply through the government of Canada’s SIN website. The three documents you will need to submit along with your application include:

  • Proof of residency in Canada
  • Valid identification
  • Official Canadian address

Mail Application

To apply for a SIN in Canada by mail, you must send your completed application form and original documents to:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB  E2A 4T1

For mailed applications, the exact requirements as for in-person and online applications apply.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where Can I Find My Social Insurance Number?

Your SIN number may be found in one of the following ways:

1. Through your income tax return
2. Through your tax slips (T4s)
3. Through your record of employment
4. Through RRSP contribution
5. Through your employer

Man wondering how to apply for a SIN in Canada
Finding your SIN can be done in 5 ways.

What Will Happen If I Change My Name or Home Address?

You will need to update your SIN through the government of Canada’s SIN website and send them an updated version of your name or home address. If you fail to do so, you may miss important information regarding your SIN.

What Shall I Do If My Temporary Social Number Expires?

There is no expiration date on a temporary social security number. When you get your permanent number, your temporary number will be removed. If your CPAM has expired, you may get a new certificate.

Will I Be Able to Get a New Card if My Initial Card was Lost or Stolen?

Service Canada will not replace your Social Insurance Number if you lose your SIN card or confirmation letter. Instead, they will reissue a confirmation letter. If you can establish that your SIN was stolen or used in identity theft, they can grant you a new number.

Can I Request Someone Else's Social Insurance Number?

Privacy Act and Regulations allow you to seek personal information about someone else if you are able to provide:

  • A signed and dated written consent from the person
  • Or you must be: A lawyer or trustee, or have power of attorney for the person
  • Proof that you are a guardian, curator or committee; a trustee; an executor or administrator; or any other legal agent of this person.

Can a Canadian immigrant apply for Social Insurance?

Please note that you can’t apply for your SIN prior to arriving in Canada because of the need to show your work permit that will be issued when you enter immigration at the airport or land border. However, if your status is either permanent or temporary resident/worker, you are more than welcome to apply for your SIN.

Can temporary workers and students apply?

Yes, students and temporary workers may apply for a SIN as long as they meet the application requirements.

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