Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada and to have access to government programs and benefits. You should apply for a SIN as soon as possible after you arrive in Canada.

Who Can Apply for a SIN?

If you are a Canadian citizen, a newcomer to Canada or a temporary resident, you need a SIN. Each SIN is issued to one person only and it cannot be legally used by anyone else.

Children who are 12 years of age or older may apply for their own SIN. Parents and legal guardians can also apply for children under the age 18 and adults in their care.

How to Apply for a SIN

To apply, you will need one of the following documents:

  • Permanent Resident Card from Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence and visa counterfoil affixed to your foreign passport or travel document.

Please note that the original documents are required, and photocopies are not accepted. You will not need to part with your original proof of identity documents.

There is no fee to apply for a SIN number, but you need to apply in person at a Service Canada Centre. If you have all the required documents and your application is in order, you can obtain your SIN in one visit. In Cornwall, there is a Service Canada Centre located at 111 Water Street East.

It is important that you protect your SIN. It is recommended that you keep your SIN in a safe place and don’t carry it with you.