Social Insurance Number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. You will require a SIN to work in Canada or to receive government benefits.

The unique number assigned to an individual, upon application, by the authority of the Canada Pension Plan for identification purposes; it is used by the government for unique identification purposes in any transaction that may affect income and taxes of the individual. A social insurance number commencing with “9” signals that the bearer is not a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and does not have the rights of citizenship, including the right to work in Canada without special permission.
Employee Responsibilities

There are two primary SIN requirements for employees.

1) Providing SIN Cards to Employer

Employees must present their SIN cards for inspection by employers. Under the Employment Insurance Act, this must be done:

  • Within three days of starting insurable employment, or
  • Within three days of receiving a new SIN card.

For CPP purposes, the employee must produce a SIN card for inspection by the employer within 30 days of a request by the employer.

2) Apply for a SIN Card

Employees must apply for a Social Insurance Number or card:

  • Under the Income Tax Act, within 15 days when requested by an employer for a Social Insurance Number;
  • Under the Canada Pension Plan, within 60 days on a legal name change.

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