If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you’ll need to provide certain documents for your application. See how to apply for your SIN.
You can only get your SIN after you’ve arrived in Canada since you first need to get your study permit at the airport or border crossing before you can apply.
It‘s very important to follow a few steps to make sure your study permit allows you to work in Canada and to get a SIN.
See arrival steps
Check your study permit conditions
To be eligible for a SIN, you must have a study permit with at least one of the following conditions:
- “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria”
- “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”
- “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies"
You can also apply if you have a work permit, such as a co-op work permit, a Post-Graduation Work Permit, or a spousal work permit.
If your study permit does not state you can work
If you’re eligible to work in Canada as a student, but you do not have one of the conditions on your study permit listed above, you’ll need to either “amend” or “change the conditions” of your study permit depending on your situation:
- If there was a mistake when you were issued the study permit, you need to amend your study permit.
- If your situation has changed and you’ve now switched to a program which makes you eligible to work off-campus, for example you previously studied English as an additional language and are now a degree-seeking student, you need to change your study permit conditions, which is the same process as a study permit extension.
You can apply for a SIN after you’ve received your new study permit with conditions allowing you to work.
How to apply for a SIN as an international student
We recommend that you apply for a SIN online. You can also apply by mail or request an in-person appointment if you face barriers applying online.
If you are outside of Canada and you have a study or work permit, you can apply online for a new or extended SIN or confirmation of a SIN, even if you do not have a Canadian mailing address.
In addition to your study or work permit, you will need your passport and proof of address.
Apply for a SIN
Your SIN digits after applying
International students get a SIN starting with the number "9", which lets employers know that you are a temporary resident in Canada.
Your SIN will remain the same unless you become a permanent resident, in which case you can apply for a new SIN which doesn’t start with the number ‘9’.