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Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Obtaining a SIN can be done a few ways, and your decision may depend how quickly you are able to start working.  Once you have applied for a SIN, you can start working immediately and do not need to wait for the official document and number to arrive. In order to apply you must be arriving with a work permit.

You need the following documentation, in English or French (or a translation complete with affidavit or attestation written and signed by your translator):

1. Primary Document to prove your identity: a work permit, study permit, or work authorization

2. Secondary Document to confirm your identity: passport is the best option

3. Supporting Document: required only if the name of your previous documents has a different name than the one you are currently using. A marriage or divorce record, adoption order or other legal name change certificate is needed.

4. Proof of address: If you are staying with a host family they may need to provide a letter as your landlord. Ensure that it includes your full name, the address, and is signed by the issuer.


This option may be ideal for those who need to quarantine upon arrival and will have some time between starting working anyway, and it can take up to 15 business days to receive the official number and document by mail after applying. 

In Person

You can schedule an appointment with Service Canada, which has a waiting time of 2-3 weeks. If you need a more immediate need, there are walk-in options available. Walk-in spaces are limited and must be done in person. You should expect to wait in line before the offices open to hold a place. You will be notified if you can be seen that day by staff once they confirm other cancellations. You will walk out with number and documentation that day if you can be seen.

In Calgary, it is better to avoid the Harry Hays building downtown if possible (it will be very busy).

There are two other locations, one in the North and one in the South, that will be a better bet. 


By Mail

This option will take the longest and you may be waiting up to 25 business days for official number and document response.

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