Social Insurance Number

Applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)


Applying for a Social Insurance Number

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that is required for every worker in Canada. If you plan to work while in Canada, either as an on-campus or off-campus employee, or a teaching or research assistant, you must have a Social Insurance Number in order to receive payment for work in Canada. Application forms are available at the London Service Canada Centre or by downloading them from the Internet. It is strongly recommended that you apply for a Social Insurance Number in person at the Service Canada Centre office. This process is faster and it does not require that you part with your valuable identity documents.

London Service Canada Centre
457 Richmond St. (corner of Richmond St. & Queens Avenue)
1-800-206-7218 or 519-645-5944

When applying for your SIN the first time or when you are renewing your SIN card, you need to bring the following documents:

  1. Your valid passport
  2. Your valid Canadian immigration document (Study Permit or Work Permit)
  3. Study Permit holders must show an original contract of employment (signed by both you and your employer). Click here to download a sample contract of employment. The contract should be printed on original company letterhead.
  4. Work Permit holders are not required to show a contract of employment

Your contract of employment must be an original contract printed on official letterhead. The contract must include the following information:

  • Gender of the student
  • Date of birth of the student
  • Surname and Given name of the student
  • Study Permit Document Number (this number starts with an "F" and is located on the top right-hand side of the Study Permit)
  • Date the Study Permit was signed
  • Date of expiry of the Study Permit
  • Name of the On-Campus Department or On-Campus Business hiring the student
  • Employer's Name
  • Civic address where the work will be performed
  • Employer's signature
  • Employer's Telephone Number
  • Indicate the start and end dates of employment and the end date cannot be beyond the expiry date indicated on your primary immigration document (Study Permit or Work Permit)
  • Signature of the student and date signed

Download a Sample Contract of Employment for on-campus employment (PDF file). Please note that this is only a sample.

Applying for a SIN is free of charge.

NOTE: It usually takes 2-3 weeks to get a SIN card and until you have this number, an employer cannot pay you. However, you can start working once you have proof that you have submitted your SIN application.

For more information, please visit Service Canada's website at:

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Social Insurance Numbers & Expiry Dates

SINs that begin with a "9" (also called 900-series SIN) are issued to individuals who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents and who need a SIN for employment purposes. 900-series SINs have an expiry date. This expiry date coincides with the date on your primary immigration document (Study Permit or Work Permit) issued to you by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

  • If you obtained your SIN card after March 30, 2003, your SIN card will have an expiry date printed on it.
  • If you obtained your SIN card before March 30, 2003, your card will not have an expiry date printed on it; however, it will have EXPIRED automatically by April 3, 2004. You will need to renew your SIN if you are presently employed. If you are not presently employed, you will not be eligible to renew your SIN at this time. Under the new rules, SINs can only be renewed or issued with a contract of employment or Work Permit.

IMPORTANT - If your Social Insurance Number will be expiring...
For those students who are employed on campus and for those who work off campus with an Off-Campus Work Permit, their Social Insurance Number card expires on the same date as their Study Permit. In order to avoid interruption of employment, make sure that you apply for a Study Permit renewal well in advance before it expires. This will ensure that there is sufficient time to apply for the renewal of your SIN (which must be done after you receive your renewed Study Permit).  Renewals of SIN cards may take 2 to 4 weeks.  

Service Canada will grant an implied status on your Social Insurance Number for up to eight weeks for those employees who experience an administrative delay after requesting a renewal of their Study Permit and/or Work Permit. This means that you can continue to use your SIN while you are waiting for your Study Permit and/or Work Permit renewal. This implied status is granted only if you apply to renew your Study/Work Permit before it expires. For more information, please visit:

Existing 900-series SIN holders renewing their SIN card, will be issued a new SIN card with the same number and an expiry date. There is no fee for this service. To renew your Social Insurance Number please see the section above on " How to Apply for a Social Insurance Number ."

Your Social Insurance Number is personal information.

According to HRSDC (Human Resources and Social Development Canada): "The SIN is not a piece of identification. It is a client account number for specific Government of Canada programs such as Employment Insurance or the Canada Pension Plan. Unless it is required by law, it should not be shared."

Please note that a SIN is no longer required to:

  • complete an Income Tax return
  • open a bank account
  • receive scholarship or bursary monies
  • apply for the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

Social Insurance Number - Frequently Asked Questions

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Last Updated: December 8, 2009

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All information disclosed by students to IESC will be kept confidential. It will not be shared with family, university staff, course instructors, or others without written permission and will not become part of academic records.

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