Social Insurance Number (SIN)

All individuals needs a SIN from Service Canada to work in Canada.

How to apply if you have a work permit

Take your passport, study permit, and work permit to the Kitchener Service Canada Centre to obtain a Social Insurance Number.

How to apply without a work permit

You need to make sure you meet the requirements to work on campus or off campus.  Just having a SIN does not mean you are automatically eligible to work in Canada.

You must have one of the following conditions or remarks on your study permit in order to apply for a SIN:

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies
  • May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

If you have one of these conditions or remarks, take your passport and study permit to the Kitchener Service Canada Centre to obtain a Social Insurance Number.

Note: If your study permit does not have one of the above conditions or remarks, you must submit a mailed request for an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. There is no fee for this request. The estimated processing time can be found on the IRCC website. 

Applying for an amendment is not the same as applying to extend your study permit. The expiry date of your study permit will stay the same in an amendment application. You will still need to apply to extend your study permit before its expiry date.

Exception: If 'This permit does not permit the holder to engage in on or off campus employment in Canada' is printed on your study permit and you have since become eligible to work on campus or off campus, you must apply to change the conditions of/extend your study permit