UCalgary campus

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

International students must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to receive employment income in Canada.

What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

A SIN is a confidential nine-digit number that's required to receive income in Canada

You're required by Canadian law to provide your SIN to your employer within three (3) working days after the day you begin employment with them

Your study permit will authorize you to work in Canada and must have a statement regarding your eligibility to work in Canada.

How to obtain your SIN

You can apply in-person at a Service Canada office, online, or by paper (via the mail). Learn more by visiting How to Apply.

Note: the COVID-19 pandemic may be impacting Service Canada's in-person services. Check that the Service Canada office is open before you start your trip.

UCalgary campus

Not sure which visa office is responsible for issuing you a study permit? Search locations

UCalgary campus

SINs and taxes in Canada

A SIN also makes you eligible to receive benefits and services from government programs (such as personal income tax refunds).

Learn more about filing personal income tax in Canada

Where to obtain your SIN

You can obtain a SIN by applying online or by mail. Learn more by visiting this website.

There are also several Service Canada offices in Calgary. The three locations closest to the UCalgary campus are:

Find a Service Canada office.

Documents you'll need to provide

You may need to provide biometrics, which includes your fingerprints and a photograph. They're used by IRCC to confirm your identity. Click here to determine if you need to provide biometrics.

If you’re already in Canada and can apply for a new immigration document from within Canada (if you require a study permit extension, for example), you’ll now need to provide biometrics if you haven’t  given your biometrics in the last 10 years.

If you’re required to provide biometrics, you must do so within 30 days of submitting your immigration application. IRCC may provide you with a biometric instruction letter that has barcodes on it. If it does, you  bring this letter with you when you provide your biometrics at a local visa application centre (VAC), application support centre (ASC) or designated Service Canada location. Learn where to give your biometrics.

There's an additional $85 CAD per person fee for biometrics. If you’re applying with your family, there is a maximum fee of $170 CAD.

What if my temporary SIN expires?

If your SIN begins with a "9", you must update your SIN to ensure the expiry date aligns with the expiry date on your study permit. 

If you have applied to extend your study permit and are awaiting a decision, you can continue to work under "implied status" even though your SIN may have expired. Refer to the Service Canada website here: 

Service Canada: After Applying