Social Insurance Number (SIN)


A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a number that has 9 digits.

This number is needed so you can work in Canada and be able to get government programs and benefits.

There is no cost to get your first Social Insurance Number.

You can get a Social Insurance Number if you are able to work in Canada. This includes people who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Temporary residents or refugees may be able to get a Social Insurance Number that has an expiry date on it.

You can apply for a Social Insurance Number by visiting our Service Canada Centre (en Français). When you go to apply, you will need to bring certain documents (en Français) with you. Your status in Canada will determine what documents you need to bring.

If you are applying from outside of Canada or if you live more than 100 kilometers away from our Service Canada Centre, then you can apply by mail by downloading an application form.

Canada used to have plastic cards for Social Insurance Numbers. This has changed. If you meet all of the requirements you will receive your Social Insurance Number that day, and you will get a letter copy in the mail within 10 days.