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Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) (Website. New window.) is a 9-digit number that appears on your SIN card, or Social Insurance Number card.

You need this number to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. You can apply for a SIN when you arrive in Canada. There is no fee for a new card, but there is a fee to replace a lost card.

You will be asked for your SIN when you get a job. Your employer will use this number to deduct taxes and employment insurance premiums from your pay and send it to the federal government for you. There are also some federal financial programs, like Registered Retirement Savings Plans, that require you to have a Social Insurance Number.

Children may be required to have a SIN for education savings plans or other programs. Parents and legal guardians can apply for a SIN for their child, and children who are 12 years of age or older may apply for their own SIN. BC has a program (Website. New window.) where parents of a new baby can apply for several services with 1 application, including a birth certificate and a SIN.

You should not share your SIN, because it cannot legally be used by anyone else.

How to apply for a Social Insurance Number

There are 2 ways to apply for a Social Insurance Number:

  • In person at a Human Resources and Social Development Canada office.
  • By mail (this method requires you send your valuable original identification documents in the mail and it takes more time).

Service Canada Surrey North
100-13889 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 1W8

Service Canada Surrey South
103 - 15295 Highway 10
Surrey, BC V3S 0X9

Surrey Multi-Language Extension Services in Punjabi - Tuesdays only
1107-7330 137th Street
Surrey, BC V3W 1A3

Surrey Multi-Language Extension Services in Punjabi - Fridays only
Unit 205 - 12725 80th Avenue
Surrey, BC V3W 3E9

Visit the Service Canada website (New window.) for more information about Social Insurance Numbers and how you can get one.