Can I work in Canada if I’m not a permanent resident?

4. Apply for a SIN

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) allows you to legally work, pay taxes, and use government services in Canada.

To apply for a SIN, most people can go to a local Service Canada Centre. You might be able to apply online or by mail if you live more than 100 kilometres from the nearest Service Canada Centre, or if you have another situation that makes it difficult for you to apply in person.

During COVID-19, you should call before going to a Service Canada Centre because some locations will ask you to apply online instead of coming in person.

What you will need

You can download the application form or go to your nearest Service Canada Centre to get a form.

The documents you need to submit with your application depend on your status in Canada. The Government of Canada list of documents that you need can be confusing. You can find a simpler list of the documents you need here.

If your documents are not in English or French, you must also submit:

  • an English or French translation of the document, and
  • a declaration or affidavit written and signed by the translator.

To apply in person, take your completed SIN application form with the original work permit to your nearest Service Canada Centre. If your application is complete, you will get your SIN right away.

To apply online, visit the Service Canada application website here.

To apply by mail, send your completed SIN application with your original work permit. Photocopies are not accepted but you should make a photocopy for your own records.

Mail your application to:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst, New Brunswick E2A 4T1

Your SIN will be a 9-digit number that starts with the number “9”. Your SIN is temporary and is only valid until the expiry date on your work permit. If you need to extend your open work permit, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before your permit expires.

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