SIN and/or Open Work Permit for spouse

I am an American citizen in Canada on a work permit, my wife and child have visitor permits. My accountant has just informed me that my wife needs a SIN for tax reasons. So we need this urgently
  1. Has anyone succeeded in getting a SIN while on a visitor permit? We were under the impression this was impossible.
  2. Can my wife get an open work permit at the border (after spending a few hours on the American side)? We know this used to be allowed for spouses of people with work permits, we aren't sure if it still is.
Our whole family are American citizens.
Thank you for anyone who can help us.

Riley Haas

Staff member
I don't believe anyone can get a SIN as a visitor.

Yes, your wife can apply for an open work permit while entering Canada, she'll just have to prove you are working here on a valid work permit. Then she should be able to get a SIN.