Life in the UK: National Insurance

What is National Insurance?

National Insurance (NI) is a type of taxation or tax. The payments made go towards certain benefits, free NHS healthcare and your pension.

What is a National Insurance Number?

Every person over the age of 16 living in the UK must have a National Insurance Number (NI Number/NIN). Your NI Number is unique to you and you keep the same one throughout your life in the UK.

Why do I need a National Insurance Number?

You cannot be paid without an NI Number. The number is used by the government to record the tax you pay. You use it when applying for benefits such as free medical services.

When can I apply for a NI Number?

It is important to apply for your NI Number as soon as you arrive in the UK. The process can take a number of months and until you have an NI number, you will be taxed at a higher ‘emergency’ rate. Unfortunately it is not possible to apply for a NI Number before you move to the UK; you can only do so once you are in the country.

How to Apply:

Call Jobcentre Plus on 0345 600 0643

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday, 8.00am-6pm

Call the Jobcentre Plus phone line in order to make an NI Number appointment (also called an Evidence of Identity Interview). You will get an appointment at your nearest Jobcentre office.

Further information

Please find a link to information on applying for your National Insurance Number below: