You need a National Insurance Number if you are seeking employment or have already begun working.

It is possible for you to start working even if you don’t have a NI number, provided you are able to prove that you are permitted to work within the UK.


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Applying for a National Insurance Number (NI)

If you are not a British or Irish citizen, you are required to have a Indefinite Leave to Remain, Settled or Pre-Settled status in the UK or a Work, Business or Student visa to apply for a National Insurance Number.

You can apply online here for a National Insurance Number. 

You will need:

  • passport or
  • EU/EEA identity card or
  • biometric residence permit (BRP)

Issuing an NI number can take up to 16 weeks. Once you have received your NI number, you need to inform your employer, so your appropriate tax and NI code can be set.
Your NI number will appear on each payslip and P60, P45 (summary of tax and national insurance contribution).

Interview

You may be asked for additional information to prove your identity, for this you will need to arrange an appointment for an interview. You will be given a date, usually within 1-3 weeks.

You will be asked about why you need a NI number and about your current circumstances. A letter should let you know what documents you will need to bring to the interview for proof of identity, such as:


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  • Your passport or EU/EEA identity card
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • Your birth certificate or adoption certificate
  • Your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • Your driving licence

Get official and free advice and help by calling the National Insurance Helpline Tel: 08001412079 or contact Citizen Advice.

Potential questions at a National Insurance Interview

Why do you need a National Insurance Number?
What is your nationality?
Do you have any other nationality?
What is your surname/last name?
What is your first name?
When did you arrive to the UK?
What’s your date of birth?
What’s your post code?
What’s your house number/address
What’s your telephone number?
Do you have any disability?

Do you speak English?
Where do you live?
How long have you been living there for?
When did you arrive to UK?
Why did you come to the UK?
How long are you staying in the UK?
How did you come to the UK?
Why do you need National Insurance Number?
Do you work?
Where do you work?
When did you start working there?
Do you work part time or full time?
How many hours do you work a week?
Do you have any foreign NI – Tax number?
Did you work abroad?
What did you work?
Do you have a foreign address?
Do you study?
Are you married?
When did you get married?
Do you have any children?
How many children do you have?

Related articles:
Your work rights in the UK
Finding a job in London
Brexit info
How to get started in London