How to Get Your SIN When Moving to Canada

By Remitbee - Sep 21, 2020

Immigration is a serious matter in Canada. If you plan to work in or immigrate to Canada, you’ll need to apply for a SIN.

In this post, we’re going to cover what a SIN is and why you need one. We will also cover how to apply for a SIN via mail, online and in-person.

Let’s dive into the ins and outs of SIN numbers.

What is a SIN?

“SIN” is short for “Social Insurance Number.” It is a 9-digit identification number issued by the Canadian government. This identification number is important for both Canadian nationals and Canadian employers.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents are all eligible for a SIN. In fact, any person who falls into one of those three categories is required to have a SIN.

Parents can apply for a SIN on behalf of their child if the child is under 12 years old. However, once the child reaches the age of 12, they must apply on their own.

Why Do I Need a SIN?

In order to get a job in Canada, you must have a SIN. This identification number gives you eligibility to work. Your SIN is important for your employers because it links to your identity for tax purposes.

You also need to have a SIN if you want access to government programs or social benefits. This number is important for making investments or contributing to a retirement account.

As we mentioned, children can get a SIN, but they only need it if they will be earning money from a job.

How to Get a SIN

There are three ways to get your SIN when you move to Canada.

If they don’t take you through the process when you arrive at the airport, you’ll have to apply either online, by mail, or in-person at a later time.

Here’s a breakdown of each of these processes.

Applying by Mail

  1. Download and print the SIN application form
  2. Fill in all of the required fields
  3. Gather primary and secondary proofs of identity and proof of address
  4. Mail all of the ORIGINAL documents and application to the following address:

Service Canada Social Insurance Registration Office PO Box 7000 Bathurst NB E2A 4T1 Canada

Applying Online

  1. Open up This link
  2. Fill in all of the required fields
  3. Upload your primary proof of identity
  4. Upload your secondary proof of identify
  5. Upload your proof of address
  6. Submit the application

Online applications take about 25 business days to process.

Applying In-Person

  1. Choose a Service Canada Office
  2. Request an appointment
  3. Bring original copies of your primary and secondary proofs of identity to your appointment
  4. Further instructions will be provided at your appointment

Applying in-person results in automatically receiving your SIN.

Please note that in-person appointments are limited due to social distancing rules set in place because of the coronavirus. Please try to apply online or by mail before applying in person.

Where to Find Your SIN

If you already have a SIN and you’ve lost track of it, you can find it on a few different documents, including tax returns, RRSP files, T4, or proof of employment records.

Don’t have immediate access to these documents? Contact your employer, because they will definitely have your SIN on record.

Your SIN is a very sensitive piece of information since it is tied to all of your personal information, including home address, employment records, data of birth, and legal name.

Do not share this number with people who you do not trust.

Additional FAQ about SIN

Is a social insurance number required for a bank account?

You’ll likely be asked for your SIN when you’re opening a bank account, but you do not need to give them this number if you don’t have one.

Do you need SIN to buy a SIM card for your phone?


Conclusion Moving to a new country is often the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Knowing the appropriate measures to take when moving is very helpful.

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