How to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
In order to work in Canada. you are going to need two things – the work permit that you’ll get stapled into your passport as you pass through customs on the way into Canada. and a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Your SIN is essentially like your Tax File Number in Australia. and it’s how they keep track of you and what you are up to for various reasons.
When you are successful in getting a job they’ll want to get a photocopy of your work permit for their records, as well as record down your SIN number, so it’s a good idea to get one of these as a priority when you arrive in Canada and intend to work. It’s actually quite easy to get providing you have your work permit, so it’s not really worth putting it off.
To get a SIN
number, you have to go into a Service Canada (here’s a tool to allow you to search for the closest one to you ) with your passport and work permit, plus the details for a permanent address you’ll be staying at while in Canada . The main reason for the address is that they’ll give you a slip of paper with your number on it as a temporary measure, then mail out your card to that address.
If you are going to Whistler or somewhere out in the wilderness that’s not near a Service Canada, I’d really suggest getting your SIN number before you head out. as I had a major run around a few years ago trying to get one when I was up in Whilstler trying to get work. Much easier to just drop into an office in Vancouver or wherever and get it over and done with in half an hour or so.