You should apply for a SIN as soon as possible after you arrive in Canada. A SIN is a nine-digit number provided by Service Canada on behalf of the federal government. You will need this number to work in Canada or to apply for government programs and benefits. You must present one of the following documents when you apply for a SIN:
- Permanent residents:
- Permanent resident card from CIC: this is the only acceptable document if your permanent residence application was processed in Canada.
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND visa counterfoil affixed to your foreign passport or travel document.
- Temporary residents:
- Work permit from CIC.
- Study permit from CIC.
- Visitor record from CIC indicating that you are authorized to work in Canada.
- Diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
To apply for a SIN, simply gather the documents you need and take them to your nearest Service Canada Centre. The Service Canada agent will need to see the original documents (not copies). If your application and documents are in order, you will get a SIN in one visit. For more information about the SIN, consult Social Insurance Number – Overview – Canada.ca. You can also call Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 (select option 3) or visit a Service Canada Centre in person.
Source: Welcome to Canada: What you should know
www.cic.gc.ca, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2013