If you are looking for work in the United Kingdom, you must apply for a National Insurance number before starting the new job.
Advice about Applying for National Insurance
National Insurance Contributions (NIC)
When coming to work in the UK, you must register for a National Insurance number and immediately start paying National Insurance contributions in the UK.
Why do I pay National Insurance?
You pay National Insurance contributions to build up your entitlement to social security benefits, including a state pension. How much you pay depends on your income.
Who pays National Insurance?
You will have to pay National Insurance and Income Tax on your wages if you are an employed worker over the age of 16.
You stop paying NICs when you reach the UK State Pension age, which is currently 65 for men and 60 for women (to reach 65 for women by 2020).
How much do I pay?
The type and level of NIC you pay depends on how much you earn and whether you’re employed or self employed.
National Insurance number
Your NI or National Insurance number is your personal, unique account number. You keep the same number all your life and never need to update it. National Insurance contributions and paid tax are recorded on your NI number account. The number is also a personal reference number for the social security system.
How to get an National Insurance number
If you are a UK citizen, you will automatically receive a National Insurance number just before your 16th birthday. If not, you will have to apply for an NI number as soon as you start work in the UK.
You can apply for a National Insurance number if:
- You are a UK resident
- You are over the age of 16
- You are starting work
- You’re looking for work
- You want to make voluntary NI contributions because you would benefit from paying them
How do I apply for a National Insurance number?
Call Jobcentre Plus to apply for a National Insurance number.
- Jobcentre Plus phone number: 0845 600 0643 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
Jobcentre Plus will send you an application form. Also call this number if you have lost your National Insurance number and need to apply for a new one.
Jobcentre Plus may ask you to go to an interview to confirm your identity. In this personal interview, you will need to bring some important documents to prove your identity.
- Proof of identity (birth certificate, passport, work permit, Home Office documents)
- Proof of address (accommodation contract, council tax, utilities bill in your name)
- Proof of employment (letter from prospective employer declaring your right to work)
To avoid further delays, bring as many documents as possible to this interview.
Find out more information about National Insurance for people coming to the UK on the HM Revenue & Customs website. Here you can find out more about the National Insurance rates that you must pay.
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