Social Insurance Numbers and Work Permit Requirements

how to obtain social insurance number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is used to administer government benefits under the Income Tax Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act, and the Employment Insurance Act. The university has a legal obligation to request, examine and record the SIN for those individuals who are paid through Payroll.  There is also a legal obligation to ensure that employees do not start working without a valid SIN and, for individuals who are neither Canadian citizens nor Canadian permanent residents (Non-Residents), without a valid Work or Study permit.

Payroll will not pay employment income to individuals unless a valid SIN is on file.

Hiring Department Responsibilities

In order to work in Canada, employees must have a valid 9 digit SIN. It is the responsibility of the hiring department to ensure that those individuals they contract with for employment are legally entitled to work in Canada.  While SIN information cannot be collected prior to hiring an individual, you can ask if the person is entitled to work in Canada and, for Non-Residents, whether they hold a valid work or study permit (which you can view) and SIN.

Once an employment offer has been accepted, you have 3 days from the time the person starts work to collect their SIN information.   If an individual does not have a SIN, it is your responsibility to direct them to a Service Canada Office to obtain one.

When submitting employment authorizations to human resources, hiring departments must ensure that SIN information is recorded on the documentation, and that the name recorded matches the employee’s legal name exactly as shown on their SIN card.

For Non-Resident hires, include a copy of the individual’s valid work/study permit and SIN documentation.  International SINs begin with a “9” and have an expiry date that should correspond to the expiry date on the work/study permit.  It is important that hiring departments take note of

the expiry date on Non-Resident SINs to ensure that employment does not extend past the expiry date.  Employees can apply to have their expiry date extended with the proper documentation.

How do Non-Residents apply for a SIN?

Individuals who need to apply for a SIN can do so at a Service Canada Office.  The office nearest to the Waterloo campus is located at

25 Frederick Street, Suite 200

Kitchener, Ontario

At the time of application the individual will be given an “Acknowledgement of Application for SIN” receipt.  This document must be presented to the hiring department as proof of SIN and a copy forwarded to Payroll.

Required Documents

For students who will be working on campus the following documents are needed to apply for a SIN:

  • Completed Application For Social Insurance Number form
  • Passport
  • Study Permit
  • Letter of Confirmation of Employment.  The letter must be printed on university letterhead and must contain:
  • Employer's telephone number
  • Employer's signature
  • Civic address where the work will be performed
  • Employer's name
  • Name of the on-campus department or on-campus business hiring the student
  • Date of expiry of the study permit
  • Date the study permit was signed
  • Study permit document number (beginning with the letter "F")
  • Date of birth of the student
  • Gender of the student
  • Student’s surname and given name
  • Employee's start and end dates of employment must fall within the dates indicated in the fields “DATE SIGNED” and “VALID UNTIL” of the study permit.
  • Signature of student and date signed

Non-Residents, other than students who hold a valid study permit, require the following documentation when applying for a SIN:

Individuals applying to renew their SIN will require the same documentation as they provided when first applying.


Category: Insurance

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