Home Workplace Legislation/Press Releases Service Canada enhances SIN access for international students and workers with online applications and airport services

Service Canada enhances SIN access for international students and workers with online applications and airport services

by HR Law Canada

Canada is streamlining the process for international students and temporary foreign workers to acquire their Social Insurance Number (SIN), the crucial 9-digit number required for employment and accessing various government services.

With the typical surge in SIN applications during summer and winter, Service Canada is adapting to meet this demand more efficiently.

Recognizing the influx of international students and workers, Service Canada is urging them to utilize the online application system for obtaining a SIN. This method promises a quick and convenient experience, with applicants able to view their SIN on the My Service Canada Account within 5 days, and receive the number by mail within 10 business days of the application submission.

For those requiring additional assistance, SIN clinics are being conducted at post-secondary institutions and community organizations. These clinics offer in-person support for those unable to complete their applications online or visit a Service Canada Centre or Scheduled Outreach Site. Since September 1, 2023, over 280 SIN clinics have been held, aiding more than 9,000 international students and workers. Additional clinics are planned in various locations across the country in the upcoming weeks.

A notable enhancement is the introduction of in-person SIN application services at key Canadian airports, including Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, and Halifax Stanfield International Airport. This service, particularly beneficial during peak seasons, enables international students and workers to apply for their SIN immediately upon arrival in Canada.

Minister of Citizens’ Services, Terry Beech, emphasized the importance of obtaining a SIN for those eligible to work in Canada, highlighting the role of Service Canada in easing this essential step for new arrivals. He pointed out that employers can engage in SIN clinics, which are available both virtually and in-person, or direct new employees to Service Canada counters at airports.

Service Canada ensures a processing time of 5 business days for online SIN applications, provided they are complete with all necessary documents. Remarkably, 90% of these online applications meet this timeframe. Alternatives to the online process include applying by mail or in person at one of the over 300 Service Canada Centres nationwide.

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