Social Insurance Numbers can now be viewed online as Service Canada modernizes system
Service Canada has improved its online My Service Canada Account (MCSA) to allow anyone with an account to view their Social Insurance Number (SIN). The move is expected to make things easier for newcomers and international students, who account for the majority of SIN service transactions.
Also, clients who apply for a new SIN online will be able to view a confirmation of their SIN digitally on MSCA. Clients with an existing SIN, and who already have an MSCA account, will be able to view their SIN securely in the MSCA application.
And clients who have an existing SIN, but do not have an MSCA account, will be able to view their SIN securely online after creating an account and validating their identity. Clients will still automatically receive their SIN confirmation letter by mail.
“Service Canada is committed to its ongoing efforts to improve the delivery of government services,” said Terry Branch, Minister of Citizens’ Service. “Applying for and viewing your Social Insurance Number online removes the need to go in-person to a Service Canada Centre and gives clients the flexibility of applying online at their convenience. We will continue to identify gaps and areas of improvement to ensure that Canadians receive the highest quality of service.”
Coupled with the ability to apply for a SIN online, this new service can help clients self-serve digitally from start to finish in the SIN process, avoid in-person queues, and have access to a digital record of their SIN any time they need it, it said. Social insurance numbers enable Canadian citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents to work in Canada and have access to benefits and services from government programs anytime, anywhere.
The MSCA registration process previously required a SIN during the identity validation stage. This initiative will allow successful online SIN applicants to register for MSCA without a SIN. Other identity validation elements, namely the Unique Client Identifier issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the Birth Registration Number appearing on the Canadian birth certificate, in combination with a SIN application number, will now be accepted when registering for a My Service Canada Account, it said.
Applications for SINs are rising sharply in Canada, primarily due to the growing number of newcomer arrivals. This influx is having a significant impact on the demand for in-person services at Service Canada Centres.
In fiscal year 2022–2023, of the 2.6 million SIN transactions recorded, newcomers (e.g. international students, temporary or permanent residents) accounted for 70 % of the total number of clients (1.8 million).
Service Canada will process the Social Insurance Number within five business days if the online application is complete with all required documents. Once the application is processed, the Social Insurance Number will show up on the client’s MSCA.
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