Wondering how to apply for SIN number?
Yes, you are at the right place to learn about how to apply for SIN number.
SIN number helps to get a secure work permit and access the benefits of various programs conducted by the Canadian government.
In addition to covering processes related to applying for SIN number, we will also cover the following queries related to SIN.
We will discuss each of these queries in detail below.
What is a SIN number?
SIN stands for Social Insurance Number. A Social Insurance Number is a 9-digit number that is needed for anyone to legally work in Canada.
SIN is issued by Service Canada and it is unique and private for every person. If a SIN is issued to a particular person it cannot be used legally by another person.
To get a secure work permit and to access the benefits and programs conducted by the Canadian government, you need to have a SIN.
SIN is available in paper format (Confirmation of SIN letter). It is still valid if you have a plastic SIN card that hasn’t expired.
Where to apply for SIN number ?
You can apply for a SIN at the Service Canada Office. To get SIN, you need to submit the required documents.
After verifying the provided documents, your SIN will be issued on the same day you apply.
Children aged 12 and older can independently apply for a SIN.
Documents Required for SIN number
The documents required for applying for a SIN differ from where you live in Canada. Each document you provide must be valid, legible, and written in either English or French.
Normally, the following documents are required to submit the application for a SIN number.
- A Work Permit from Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugees Canada (IRCC).
- A Study Permit from Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugees Canada (IRCC).
- An identity card or passport (Canadian or foreign).
- A driver’s license or provincial or territorial identity card.
- Any other ID from the government.
Submit any one of the following documents as Proof of residency as it includes your local address:
- Government document
- Bank document
- Employment contract
- Bill for payment such as: cell phone, utility, cable
- Lease/rental agreement or confirmation from your landlord
- Loyalist College Residence – students living in Residence can request a letter confirming address from Residence Staff.
How to apply for SIN number?
To get a Social Insurance Number, you need to fill out an application form and also you have to submit the required documents along with your application.
There is no fee to apply for a SIN.
There are basically 3 options to apply for the SIN:
- Apply for SIN by filling in the online application form.
- Apply for SIN by mail.
- Apply for SIN by in-person at a Service Canada Centre.
Apply for SIN by filling in the online application form
You can request a SIN online through the website of the Canadian government.
New immigrants to Canada must fill out the application form and choose the “First Social Insurance Number” option from the drop-down menu.
Your original documents must be uploaded digitally, and you’ll normally get your SIN in the mail within 15 days.
Apply for SIN by mail
If you live more than 100 miles from the main Service Canada office, if exceptional circumstances prevent you from visiting in person and someone else cannot submit your application on your behalf, or if you are applying from outside of Canada, then you can apply for a SIN number in Canada by mail.
You will need to fill up the application for SIN and print a copy of the SIN application form, then submit it along with your original documents to the below given address.
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB E2A 4T1
Your documents cannot be photocopied; they won’t be accepted. Within 25 days of submitting your application, you’ll get your SIN in the mail along with the originals of your submitted documents.
Apply for SIN by in-person at a Service Canada Centre
To apply in-person for your SIN, first you need to make an appointment at Service Canada Center. You must bring your original documents for verification purposes.
You can call to a toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security office by booking a prior appointment.
Once they verify your documents , you will get your SIN from the office at the same day itself.
How long does it take to get a SIN number?
For in-person SIN applications: Once they verify your submitted documents, you will get your SIN from the Service Canada Center office on the same day.
For online SIN application: You’ll normally get your SIN in the mail within 15 days after applying for the SIN number.
For mail SIN application: Within 25 days of submitting your application, you’ll get your SIN in the mail along with the originals of your submitted documents.
Check SIN number status
You can call to a toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security office by booking a prior appointment.
Also, you can confirm the SIN of a current or former employee by contacting Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627. If calling from outside Canada, dial 506-548-7961 (long distance charges apply).
You will need to provide your business number issued by Canada Revenue Agency, along with necessary information to verify the identity of your company as well as the employee.
How to update a SIN number online?
All the information you link with the SIN must be valid and up-to-date.
In order to update any of the information you have already linked with your SIN, you will need to submit another application to make changes to your SIN record with the necessary documents.
How to renew SIN number online?
The SIN’s expiry date depends on the work permit that allows you to work in Canada.
If you wish to keep working or file taxes while your study or work permits are extended, you must renew your SIN along with the new or renewed permits.
Why my SIN number starts with 1?
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number used as a personal file identifier to administer various Government of Canada programs. You will require a SIN to work in Canada.
SINs can begin with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 9. Each person receives a unique Social Insurance Number.
The SIN’s first digit indicates the region in which it was registered. The first digit of the SIN revealed the area of registration.
And each number is associated with a specific group of Canadian locations/places.
When your SIN number starts with the number 1, it covers Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador), and overseas residents.
Social Insurance Number starting with 9
SINs beginning with a “9” are issued to temporary workers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents.
These temporary SINs are valid until the expiry date indicated on the immigration document authorizing them to work in Canada.
If you are a refugee, an international worker, or an international student then you will receive a SIN that begins with the number 9. There is an expiry date on these cards. After the expiry date on SIN, they are not valid.
Can landlords ask for a SIN number?
No. Your SIN number is a confidential number used for income reporting purposes. Also, in some cases, landlords may ask for your SIN number to check your credit score.
However, SIN is not required for a credit check. The landlord also has various options for doing a credit check. For example, the landlord can ask for your full name and birthdate.
It’s your personal choice to show them your SIN number, but it’s not illegal for them to ask.
Your SIN can also be used to prove that you are a refugee or a temporary foreign worker (TFW).
You could be the target of discrimination based on this information.
Also, you are not required to provide your SIN when you submit a property rental application.
Do you need a SIN number for a credit check?
Many lenders request the SIN number during a loan application.
You are not required to provide your SIN if a company requests it for identification purposes or to check your credit. Your SIN is confidential and cannot be used to confirm your identity.
Although many private sector organisations could ask for your SIN, you are not required to give it.
In general, your name, address, and date of birth can be used by lenders, employers, and landlords to check your credit score.
Key responsibilities of SIN holders
As a SIN holder, you have four key responsibilities to protect your SIN:
Never give out your SIN unless you are sure it is legally required or you are satisfied it is necessary.
You must provide your SIN to take part in some government programs and/or services. For example, the Canada Revenue Agency requires your SIN when you file your income tax, or when you apply for Employment Insurance (EI) or Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/ Retraite Québec benefits
In the private sector, you must provide your SIN to your employer for income tax and benefit purposes. You must also give it to financial institutions for accounts that pay interest
Except when required for government programs and services, it is your decision when to share your SIN information and with whom
Take steps to protect your SIN, your SIN card and other personal information from theft.
Your SIN is confidential and contains important information. If it is stolen along with other personal information, your SIN could be used by someone else to gain access to a wide range of benefits, services, and information in your name
Keep your SIN card in a safe place, like a safety deposit box. Do not carry it in your wallet or purse
Follow the rules in Annex 1, Fraud and Identity Theft: Dos and Don’ts to Protect Yourself and Your SIN
Inform Service Canada and other appropriate authorities if you believe your SIN is being used illegally.
Stolen, lost or borrowed SINs are used to defraud governments, businesses and individuals. If someone else uses your SIN to work illegally or to obtain credit, you may be asked to pay additional tax for income you did not earn or encounter difficulty when you apply for credit
If you suspect your SIN is being used illegally or there is a risk it will be used inappropriately, there are steps you should take. To get instructions and contact information, refer to Annex 3, SIN at Risk: To Do List for SIN Holders
Ensure that your personal information on the Register is accurate, complete and current. Contact Service Canada when:
- you change your name (through marriage, adoption or a legal change of name)
- your citizenship status changes
- your SIN card is lost or stolen
- you suspect that someone is illegally using your SIN
- there is a death of a family member
- you discover that information on your SIN record is incorrect or incomplete
For more information on how to update your information in the Register, visit the Service Canada website or call toll-free 1-866-274-6627.
Agents are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (your local time), except statutory holidays.
If you are calling from outside Canada, the number is: 1-506-548-7961 (long distance charges apply), from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm (Atlantic time).
Is it safe to give SIN number to Wealthsimple?
You’ll need to provide your SIN when you open an account to invest. Wealthsimple require a Social Insurance Number in order to provide appropriate tax reporting information to the CRA.
In order to be eligible to open a Wealthsimple account, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Reside in Canada and either be a Canadian citizen or have a valid Canadian Visa
- Meet your province or territory’s minimum age requirement to open an investment account
- Have a valid Social Insurance Number
- Satisfy identity verification requirements for non-registered accounts
Please contact support if you need any further assistance regarding Wealthsimple.
If you have a complaint about our services or a product, then file a complaint with Wealthsimple.
A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is necessary for all Canadian citizens, permanent residents (PR), and temporary residents in order to work in the country or benefit from government services and benefits.
You will be given a temporary SIN if you are a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) in Canada. Your SIN will begin with the number nine and will expire on the same day as your work permit expires.
An international student must also have a SIN if they want to work part-time while attending classes.
Hope you get an idea about how to apply for SIN number.
In this guide, we have tried to cover most of the common doubts related to SIN.
Kindly let us know if you have any queries.
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Jasper Reed is the Editor of heyhowtodoit.com with 8+ years of expertise in crafting tech troubleshooting guides. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.
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