Full-time international students with a valid study permit can work off-campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week. In order to work in Canada, you will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number. Find out what it is and how you can get it.
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that you need to work and be paid in Canada and access government programs and benefits. It is also used to file taxes. You MUST apply for a SIN if you work in Canada.
To qualify to work in Canada as an international student, you must:
Service Canada Centres are gradually reopening to help serve most Canadians within 100 km of where they live and to support clients who face barriers to accessing SIN online.
To request an appointment, please use the online service request form.
If everything is in order, you will get your SIN during your visit and you will not need to part with your documents
Service Canada Centre Locations
We highly recommend you apply for your SIN number online at Social Insurance Number – Apply. If you apply for a SIN online or by mail and your application meets the requirements, you will receive a letter with your SIN by mail within 20 business days from the date the application is received.
To apply online you will need to upload copies of at least 3 different documents:
Temporary Residents of Canada need to provide 1 of the following documents:
When applying online, you must also provide a secondary document that is valid and issued by a government (federal or provincial). The document must contain your legal name (surname and given name) as well as your date of birth.
Examples of acceptable secondary documents include:
Examples of acceptable proof of address:
If you’re an international student, make sure you keep your SIN valid by renewing your SIN each time you extend your temporary residency in Canada. (For example, if you extend your study permit).
To extend your SIN, follow the same procedure above.
Note*: International students get a SIN starting with the number ‘9’, which allows employers to know that you are a temporary resident in Canada. Your SIN will remain the same unless you become a permanent resident. In this case, you can apply for a new SIN that doesn’t start with the number ‘9’.
More information can be found on the Government of Canada website.