Let’s talk about NIN, the popular number everyone seems to talk about when you want to move to the UK. First of all, let me tell you that the following info apply to European Citizens, and are valid on today’s date.
To begin with, NIN stands for National Insurance Number. You need it to work, possibly ask for benefits and to, also, ask for a student loan. Here in the UK you don’t work without NIN. If you work without NIN, it means you’re working illegally. And here in the UK illegal work is not something you wanna do, it is not “the norm”. In the majority of cases, you will always find employers offering you a legit contract, and in order to do so they need you to have a NIN.
To apply for it you MUST be in the UK.
The number to call is :
- National Insurance number application line
- Telephone: 0800 141 2075
- Monday to Friday
- 8am to 6pm
You will need to communicate your address, and they will send you a letter confirming your appointment. You need to keep this letter safely, because, if you do have a job interview in the meantime, you can show it so that your employer can see that you have an appointment with the NIN office, and know that you will soon have an NI Number. Otherwise they won’t hire you.
At the appointment you will have to bring an ID, if you have a Passport is much better.
What will you be asked at the appointment?
They will ask you when you arrived in the UK, what do you intend to do, whether you are here for study or for work, they also can ask you in what sector you work, etc –
These are all super easy questions and you don’t have to worry about it or be afraid of not getting the NIN, I’ve never heard of anyone who has been denied a NIN. It is denied in rare and specific cases, if one is not entitled to it, or if they have lied about their generalities, etc.
What is it for?
It is mainly used for taxes. It helps HMRH (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to calculate your taxes, and to prove that you are working and living here legally.
If you see some people who have a blue, white and red card (see photo) with their NI Number, and you didn’t give one: it doesn’t matter! They stopped issuing that card 10 years ago. Now you need to keep the letter they will send you with the number.
If you lose the NIN, don’t worry, you can get it back via HMRC. You can’t get a new one, the NIN is a unique number that you are given only once and that remains the same forever, if you lose it you can recover it but it will always be the same. The NIN is also indicated on your Payslips.
Be wary of any “agency” that wants to “help” you to apply for your NIN, and they might ask for money. To obtain a NIN is FREE. You can do everything yourself and no one legally has the right to ask you for money to get one.
As you can see there really isn’t much to know, the process is very simple. Waiting times vary a lot, you can have an appointment at the nearest Jobcenter, in a short time or have to wait 1 month.
But remember that in the meantime, with the letter they send you, you can go to job interviews and communicate the interviewer that you are waiting for your NIN.