Canadian Social Insurance

When you relocate to Quebec, one of the first things you will need to do is get your Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Without it, you cannot legally begin your job, and you cannot get paid. Upon arrival, an officer from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will give you a form that you must fill out in order to obtain your Canadian Social Insurance Number. If you are not given the form for your social insurance number, you can get it online here.

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What to bring to get your Canadian Social Insurance coverage

  • Original Proof of Identity: a passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, and/or Canadian driver’s license.
  • Proof of legal status in Canada: your visa (work visa or study visa).

Find a more detailed list of what to bring to obtain your social insurance number here.

Other things to know about Canadian Social Insurance:

  • Make absolutely sure that you provide your correct and current mailing address on the forms you fill out. This is how Service Canada knows where to send your physical Social Insurance card.
  • There is no fee for applying for social insurance in Quebec.
  • Don’t carry your SIN card on your person. Keep it in a safe place to help avoid loss, identity theft or other problems.
  • If you lose your SIN card, or find someone else’s, call the police and file a report. Also, contact Equifax or TransUnion to get a copy of your credit report for free, and look it over carefully for any odd activity.
  • You are only obligated to share you social insurance information with your employer if he/she asks to see the card. No one else can make you share this private information.
  • If you are in possession of any documents needed to receive your SIN that are not written in French or English, you will need to get them officially translated.
  • If the name on your proof of identity is not the one that you ordinary use, you will need to bring a supporting document with you to explain why.
  • If you’d like a copy of your social Insurance information, the Privacy Act allows you to fill out a personal information request form to obtain it.

To find your closest Service Canada Office, click here.


Want to understand all the steps to take upon arrival in Canada? Sign up for and get full access to “The Guide.” Read the “Formalities on Arrival” chapter for more information on this topic.


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About Peter

As the child of a diplomat, I’ve had the opportunity to really see the world. Living in Algeria, Italy, Venezuela, South Korea, Ukraine and the Bahamas has taught me that diversity is a gift, not something to fear. When it comes to diversity, Canada is a special place. Its big cities attract high percentages of immigrants from every corner of the globe, and natives are welcoming and kind to them. Racial, gender and other forms of diversity are also largely accepted and even celebrated. Relocating is never easy. The stress of moving, and starting over when it comes to finding friend, can be discouraging. But I can tell you from experience that once you get through the tough parts, Canada is a fabulous place to live. // En tant qu’enfant de diplomate, j’ai eu l’occasion de vraiment voir le monde. Vivre en Algérie, en Italie, au Vénézuela, en Corée du Sud, en Ukraine et aux Bahamas m’a appris que la diversité était un cadeau et non quelque chose à craindre. Et quand il s’agit de diversité, le Canada est un endroit spécial. Les grandes villes attirent un pourcentage élevé d’immigrants provenant des quatre coins du monde. Les natifs sont accueillants et gentils envers eux, la race, le sexe et d’autres formes de diversité sont acceptés et même célébrés. La relocalisation n’est jamais facile. Le stress du déménagement et la nécessité de repartir de zéro quand il s’agit de se faire des amis peuvent être décourageants. Mais je peux vous dire par expérience qu’une fois les moments difficiles traversés, le Canada est un pays fabuleux pour y vivre.