A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required in order to work in Canada and get government benefits. In general, you must apply in person at a Service Canada office.

Upon presentation of proof-of-identity documents, you typically receive your SIN at the time of your visit. You can show your birth certificate, certificate of Canadian citizenship, permanent resident card or work permit, or other specific documents, depending on your status.

If you aren’t a citizen, for example, and you want a SIN to gain employment in Canada, a copy of your work permit usually suffices.

Most people need to provide only one identity document. If you want your registered Indian status reflected on your SIN card, however, you must show both a birth certificate and a Certificate of Indian Status.

You must enter your SIN on your tax return before submitting it to Revenue Canada.

References & Resources

Key Concepts

  • SIN application process
  • Getting a SIN
  • Working in Canada