A National Insurance Number is a personal number issued by the UK Government. It is required by anyone wanting to work in the UK and entitles you to certain benefits. National Insurance contributions are generally deducted at source through your salary and are based on the amount you earn.
Everyone who works in the UK has to contribute to the social security system by paying NI, unless you have a special exemption. This applies even if you’re only working here temporarily. You can start work without a NIN, but must apply for one immediately.
If you’re moving to the UK you can only apply for a National Insurance Number once you have permanently arrived in the country. You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.
The easiest way to apply for a number is to call the National Insurance number application line. You will be asked a series of general questions such as when you arrived in the UK, date of birth, nationality etc., and then an appointment will be arranged for you to attend the nearest Jobcentre Plus centre for a short interview. At this interview you will have to produce the following:
ID (i.e. your passport)
Proof of address (tenancy agreement or temporary accommodation booking confirmation
We generally suggest clients take along proof of employment too.
Once interviewed a National Insurance number will be issued within 4-6 weeks although in our experience much shorter timescales are generally worked to.
For more information on applying for a National Insurance number visit - https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number