Who needs a SIN

If you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a temporary resident, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

Children 12 years of age or older may apply for their SIN. Parents, legal guardians or legal representatives can apply for a SIN for children under the age of majority in their province, and for adults in their care.

Information for temporary residents

If your SIN begins with a “9,” keep your SIN record up to date. Make sure your SIN expiry date matches the one on your document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada allowing you to work in Canada.

Once your SIN record is updated, you will receive a SIN with a new expiry date. Your previous SIN (whether in a paper format or a plastic card) is no longer valid. Destroy it in a secure manner.

If your SIN is expired, you may continue to work while waiting for your new immigration document if you maintain your status during the processing.

What to do if your temporary SIN expires (starts with a 9).

Information for employees

You will need to provide your SIN to your employer as it is necessary to work in Canada and to access some government programs and benefits such as Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Apply for your SIN within 3 days after you begin work. Once you apply, you can begin working in insurable employment. Please check with the Employment Insurance Regulations for further details.

Information for employers

Employers should:

  • correctly identify employees with the help of pieces of identification, and
  • ensure that employees have a valid SIN

This number is used to administer government benefits under the:

If you are an employer, learn about your responsibilities related to your employees' SINs.

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