To work in Canada, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). A SIN is a 9-digit number allows you to work in Canada, use government programs , and obtain benefits. Employers are required to use their employee's SIN in a variety of work documents such as income tax statements, Employment Insurance, and Canada Pension Plan forms.
If you're not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, then your SIN will start with the number 9. If your SIN starts with the number 9, then an employer will know by your SIN that you:
If you don't have a SIN, you need to apply for one.
You can get a job without your parents’ permission as soon as you turn 15. You can work when you are younger than 15 if you and your parents follow certain requirements. To learn more, see Young Workers.
If you're not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you might also need a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. An employer can ask to see your work permit to prove that you have the right to work in Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a list of jobs that foreign workers can do without a work permit. For example, an international student in a full-time program might not need a work permit. To learn more, see Your Rights as a Foreign Worker.
Your employer does not have the right to keep your passport, immigration documents, or other personal papers. But sometimes employers want to do this. If your employer asks to keep your documents or takes them and won't give them back, you may want to get legal help.
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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