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How to get a National Insurance Number

By AGoldhawk 05 Sep 2019

Apply for your NI number online

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 (tax) 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. If you have lost or forgotten your NI number, please apply for a new one here:

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. You should only apply online with this link,  with the below documents to hand, as they will ask for your exact name/ passport number/ other information as it appears on your passport.
    - A passport from any country
    - A biometric residence permit (BRP)
    A national identity card from an EU / EEA country 
  4. After you apply, you may need to send documents or attend an appointment to prove your identity.
  5. When you have proven your identity, it can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance number.

Student Help Point can provide a UK address confirmation letter if needed as part of your application - request one at or by emailling


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