Receiving your SIN and updating your SIN Record

Service Canada stores your personal information in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes:

Working while waiting to receive your SIN

Once you have applied for your SIN, you may begin working insurable employment before you receive your SIN.

Checking your application status

If you apply online and everything is in order, you will receive a letter by mail with your SIN within 15 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 15 days since you applied online, and you have not received a letter, please contact the SIN Program.

If you apply by mail and everything is in order, you will receive a letter by mail with your SIN within 25 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 25 business days since you applied, and you have not received a letter, please contact the SIN Program.

If your online or mailed-in application did not meet the requirements, you will get a letter containing guidance on what is required to obtain a SIN.

Receiving a confirmation of an existing SIN

If you forgot your SIN, you may:

  • Find it on your income tax return
  • Request a confirmation of your SIN from Service Canada by applying and submitting all required documents.

Service Canada cannot provide or confirm your SIN by telephone.

Accessing your personal information

If you live in Canada, you have the right to ask for information about your SIN record.

You may ask for a copy of any SIN forms submitted in the past. To ask for copies you must:

Updating information linked to your existing SIN

To update your SIN record, you must submit an application and the required documents. Once Service Canada makes the changes, you will receive a Confirmation of SIN letter. Your SIN stays the same, but receiving this letter indicates that the change has been made.

If you are legally changing your name

By law, you must update your SIN record when you change your name. To do this you will need to submit an application and the required documents.

If you would like to have your disc number removed from your SIN record

To remove your disc number from your SIN record, submit an application and the required documents in person, by mail or online.

If you are moving

You do not need to notify the SIN Program about a change of address, unless you are waiting to receive a Confirmation of SIN letter.

If you are changing your gender designation

You may now choose to have your gender marked as “X” or choose to not declare your gender. Service Canada will add a note to your record with your choice. Please note, until our computer systems are upgraded to register this information, "male" or "female" will still appear on your SIN record.

To make any changes to your SIN record, you will need to submit an application and the required documents.

If your temporary SIN expires (begins with 9)

Your temporary SIN expires on the date provided in your immigration documents. You must ensure that both expiry dates match.

If you have applied for renewal of a work or study permit, and your permit expires before a decision is made, you have the right* to continue working or studying under the same conditions. You must remain in Canada during this time. This “implied status” will remain until a decision is made by IRCC. This means you are allowed to work even though your SIN has expired. For more information about implied status, contact IRCC.

* As per paragraph 186(u) and section 189 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Once IRCC authorizes you to continue working in Canada, you must apply to Service Canada with your new immigration document to update the expiry date on your SIN record. The expiry date on both your SIN record and your immigration document must match.

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