Social Insurance in Canada

This card’s picture on the left side, is what you will need to get as soon as you can once you are in Canada. The SIN. SIN for Social Insurance Number. This card is your social insurance in Canada.

The SIN is a unique 9 digit number used by the federal government.

For all temporary residents who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the first digit of the SIN is 9 and the SIN has an expiry date which usually corresponds to the expiration of the work authorization.

For Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the first digit of the SIN will indicate the province in which it was registered (4 for Ontario, 7 for British Columbia or Yukon, 2 or 3 for Quebec, etc).

It can be requested by your employer (when I say “can” in this case it means “will”), banks, investment companies and federal government agencies. Hence, it is better to request your social insurance in Canada as soon as possible.

You have two ways of asking for your social insurance in Canada; you can either do it by mail or you can go to one of Service Canada’ offices.

You can find an office close to your home thanks to this link:

If you are not a permanent resident, you will need to bring a piece of ID and your work permit or student visa. If you already have a job, bring a letter of your employer (before you start working!)

Please do not forget that your SIN is a confidential information. You should protect yourself from identity thieves. If your SIN is requested, you should always ask if it is required by law and why it is requested.

Photo credits: Wagner51, GNU free documentation license

About the Author:

I founded ARIANNE Relocation Canada in 1997 in order to assist families relocating to Montreal, and then all over Canada. I have a lot of advice and stories to share about how to successfully move and relocate to Canada! If I can be of help please contact me at

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