Why do I need NIN?

To be able to work in the UK and to access many services you will need to have a National Insurance Number (NIN0), which is essential as proof of your identity for the HM Revenue & Customs (the government department responsible for tax) and the Department
for Work and Pensions (the government department responsible for employment, pensions and welfare).

This number allows the government to track your Social Security and National Pension contributions. At the same time, you will need this number when voting in the UK local or national elections or applying for a grant or loan as a student for your studies.

As it is a requirement for many services, it is advisable to obtain this number, even if you are not planning to work in the UK. If you do not have the NIN when offered a job, your employer will apply an emergency tax surcharge. You get it back when you sort your NIN.

The process for obtaining the NIN can take a few weeks. These are the documents employers may ask you for during the application process:

  • passport or identity card
  • residence permit (if non-EU)
  • birth or adoption certificate
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate driving licence
How to obtain the NIN?

Step 1.

Call for an application by phone: 0800 141 2075 or 0800 141 2438 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users - check you can use the service

a) EU/EEA National?

JobCentre Plus will arrange a personal interview with you to confirm your circumstances and why you need the NIN.

b) Non EU/EEA National?

Step 2.

JobCentre Plus will send you an application letter to your home. You should fill it in with your information and sent it to the address given.

Step 3.

You’ll need to return the application form 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 have a face-to-face interview at the moment because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Step 4.

You will receive your National Insurance Number in a letter to your home address

(Please ensure the address given to JobCentre Plus is correct during the interview). The Number shall appear in the format XX00 00 00 0. Obtaining the Number can take between 4 to 6 weeks from the interview date. Have patience!


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