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How to get a National Insurance Number

By AGoldhawk 05 Sep 2019

What is a National Insurance Number?

  • A National Insurance number - a personal and unique number to you - is allocated by a Job Centre in the UK on request. It is free of charge.
  • An NI number will be requested by your employer, regardless of whether you have a part time job (eg international students on a tier 4 visa) or a full time job (if you have the right to work full-time, this can include tier 4 students in a holiday period).
  • Employers use your NI number to dedicate a small percentage of your salary from your weekly or monthly pay to your UK national insurance contribution, which goes towards certain UK benefits and pension entitlements. This deduction to your salary is varied and is based on your annual income, for more details please visit this link which provides clarification:
    Thus, it is important to apply for an NI number if you intend to work while in the UK. NB: without an NI number you may be charged emergency tax for any period of full-time hours that you work in a vacation.
  • You have one NI number for life. Therefore, there is no need to request a new number when you change employer.

How to obtain a National Insurance number

To apply for a national insurance (NI) number please follow the steps below:

  1.  You should have the right to work (full or part-time) in the UK.
  2. You should have a permanent address in UK.
  3. Call the Job-Centre Plus - National Insurance number allocation service, Telephone: 0800 141 2075   Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, with your passport to hand, as they will ask for your exact name as it appears on your passport.
  4. You will receive an application from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), by post to your UK address. You’ll need to full the application form and return it along with your proof of identity and your right to work or study in the UK. You’ll be told which documents you can use as proof when you get your application form. After you apply, it can take up to 8 weeks to get your National Insurance number. You will NOT need to attend a face-to-face interview at the moment because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Use the following documents to prove your identity:
    Passport or identity card
    Residence permit, birth or adoption certificate
    Marriage or civil partnership certificate 
    Driving licence.