What is a Social Insurance Number?
A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that you need to work in Canada, to file taxes, or to have access to government programs and benefits. You should apply for a SIN if you plan to work in Canada.
If you are an international student, be sure you understand the eligibility requirements to work in Canada.
How do I get it?
You can apply for a SIN in person at a Service Canada Office.
Bring your original birth certificate or other primary document to Service Canada when you apply.
Take one of the following documents when you apply:
- a study permit that states you “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada, OR
- a study permit and a “confirmation to work off campus” letter issued by CIC prior to February 6, 2015, OR
- a work permit (e.g. co-op, post-graduation, or spouse/partner work permit)
If you are eligible to work in Canada as a student but you do not have one of the documents listed above, you must (1) get a corrected study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, then (2) take your new study permit in person to a Service Canada office. To get a corrected study permit, do one of the following:
- If you switched from a program of study (which did not allow you to work off-campus) to a new program of study (which does allow you to work off-campus) AND your study permit states "This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada," change the conditions of your study permit ($150 fee). Check the processing time here.
- Otherwise, amend your study permit (free). Read the document checklist carefully and include all necessary documents, including an up-to-date enrolment letter. We suggest you mail the application to Ottawa using a secure mailing method, such as Canada Post Xpresspost. Check the processing time here.
Where do I get it?
The closest Service Canada Centre to UBC is the West Broadway Centre. You can also search for a location near you.
- 1263 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC
- Hours: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday
- Take the 99 B-Line bus, get off at Granville Street, and walk 3 blocks east