Applying for a SIN (or renewal) for International Students

As of June 1, eligible international students no longer need an off-campus work permit to work off campus. (See for more details.) As a result, Service Canada changed the way they issue SINs to international students. This also affects international students who want to work on-campus.

  • In the past: Service Canada issued SINs to students with either (1) a valid work permit, or (2) a valid study permit AND an on-campus job offer letter.
  • Now: On-campus job offer letters are no longer accepted. Service Canada will issue a SIN to students with a study permit ONLY if it contains the phrases “may accept employment” or “may work.” These phrases should be theoretically written on most post-secondary study permits after June 1, but in practice we are seeing many written in the old format without these phrases.

If a student’s study permit does not say “may accept employment” or “may work,” the student must follow additional steps to get a “confirmation to work” letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (Even though the letter is technically a confirmation to work OFF-campus, it is still required for on-campus work when the study permit does not explicitly state “may accept employment” or “may work.”) They must then present this letter with their study permit to Service Canada in person to get a SIN. Detailed instructions are here:

The processing time for the confirmation to work letter is currently approximately 2 weeks. According to CIC, students cannot request a “confirmation to work” letter until after they arrive in Canada and are issued a study permit.

Please note:  The “Proof of Enrolment” letter is NOT issued by the LFS Graduate Office.  You can download and use a letter of enrolment from the Student Service Centre provided it states your status is full-time AND you are in a program of six months or more leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.  If it does NOT include these two pieces of information, then you need to email a request to or if your request is urgent, you can go in person to Brock Hall to request the letter.



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