Foreign students and the Social Insurance Number

Foreign students can work on or off campus if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has granted the student authorization to work in Canada.

To apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), international students must present a study permit issued by CIC that indicates the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada.

If neither of these statements is on the study permit, the international student will need to provide, along with the study permit:

The confirmation of employment on campus must:

  • be original;
  • be on the college or university’s letterhead;
  • indicate that the work is located on campus;
  • include the employer's name and telephone number;
  • be signed by a university or college official; and
  • include the student's name.

The proof of full-time post-secondary enrollment:

  • may be original or a printed copy from an electronic format;
  • must be on the college or university letterhead; and
  • must include the student’s name.


Confirmation of employment on campus and proof of enrollment may be included in the same document issued by a college or university.

For more information about study permits, visit the CIC website or call the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.