International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

How to Apply for a Social Insurance Number

To apply for a Social Insurance Number, you need to go in person to a Service Canada Centre. Applying for a SIN is free of charge. If everything is in order, you will get your SIN during your visit.

Application forms are available at the London Service Canada Centre or by downloading them online.

Note: As of March 31, 2014, Service Canada began issuing SINs in a paper format (confirmation of SIN letter). You will no longer receive an actual card. SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used.1

For more information, please visit Service Canada's Social Insurance Number information.

Where to Submit your SIN Application

Service Canada Centre - London
457 Richmond St. (corner of Richmond St. & Queens Avenue)
1-800-206-7218

OR

Register for one of the International and Exchange Student Centre's SIN Clinics scheduled throughout the year at the IESC, 2nd floor, IGAB. Visit the IESC's Events Calendar for details.

Required Documents for your SIN Application

When applying for your Social Insurance Number, you need to bring the following original documents (photocopies are not accepted):

  1. Your valid passport
  2. Your valid Canadian immigration document:,
    • Work Permit (e.g. Post-Graduation Work Permit, open spousal Work Permit etc.); OR
    • Study Permit
      • If your Study Permit states that you "may accept employment" or "may work" in Canada, you can immediately apply for a SIN at Service Canada
      • If your Study Permit does NOT state that you "may accept employment" or "may work" in Canada, you must apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to amend your Study Permit so that CIC can add a statement that you may work or may accept employment.2

        Note: Study permits issued prior to June 1, 2014 usually do not state that the student "may accept employment" or "may work" in Canada.

        Note: "If the following remark is printed on your study permit: This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada, and you have become eligible to work on or off campus without a work permit (e.g., you have transferred to an eligible program of study), you must apply to change the conditions of your study permit and pay the applicable fee."3

Ensure that you meet CIC’s eligibility criteria to work: “If you begin working […] without meeting the eligibility requirements, you may be subject to enforcement action under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.”4

Applying to Amend your Study Permit

Step 1: Complete the Request to Amend the Record of Landing, Confirmation of Permanent Residence or Valid Temporary Resident documents [IMM 1436]

The Request to Amend (application form and document checklist) can be downloaded from CIC's website.

For details on the Request to Amend and the required supporting documents, please carefully review CIC's Instruction Guide IMM 5218.

Note that you are required to provide your original Study Permit and a current letter of enrollment as some of the required supporting documents.

There is no fee to request an amendment.

Step 2: Mail your Completed Application Package to CIC

The Request to Amend can only be submitted by mail.

Ensure that you sign and date the Request to Amend. Make a photocopy of the application form, document checklist and supporting documents for your records.

Follow the mailing instructions provided in the Instruction Guide IMM 5218.

Note: If you would like proof of delivery, send your application form and supporting documents by Xpresspost, Priority Post or courier.


Step 3: Wait for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to issue your amended Study Permit

Visit CIC's website to view the current processing time for “amendment of valid temporary resident documents.”

After your Study Permit is amended (to include the remark that you “may work” or “may accept employment” in Canada), , you can apply for a SIN at the local Service Canada office. Bring all of the required original documents with you, as listed above.

If your Request to Amend your study permit is refused by CIC, please call the IESC’s Appointment Office (519-661-2111 ext. 85908) to book an immigration appointment.

Additional Information: