National Insurance, the UK Social Security

National Insurance Number

The famous NIN or National Insurance Number is the UK equivalent of a social security number. It’s what you need for taxes and other data from your stay in the UK. Even though it is necessary, any EU citizen can start working in the UK with nothing but his or her passport. When your employer asks you for your NIN, you can say that you are in the process of getting it, and you will be assigned a provisional one for the first few weeks.

To get the NIN, you first need to call the JobCentre and ask for an appointment. Their number is 0345 600 0643 (from 8am to 6pm, Monday-Friday).

Then you will have an interview with one of the staff where you will need to provide official documents that prove your identity, such as:

  • PASSPORT and/or ID
  • RESIDENCE PERMIT (not required for everyone, so check beforehand)

Apart from the required documentation, you will be asked for your address, contact numbers, details from the company where you work (if you are employed), etc. Bring as much as possible so you don’t have to go back.

After the interview they will process your application and send you the official documentation to the address you have provided them with within a couple of weeks.

It’s as simple as that.

Questions and information you will be asked for on the phone:

  • Are you in the UK at the moment?
  • Have you applied before for a NIN?
  • Why do you need a National Insurance Number?
  • What’s your nationality?
  • Do you have any other nationalities?
  • How long have you been here? When did you come to the UK?
  • What is your surname? Your last name
  • What is your date of birth?
  • What is your first name?
  • Your post code?
  • What is your address?
  • Have you got a contact telephone number?
  • Are you looking for a job at the moment?
  • Do you have any disabilities or health problems?

After these questions, which you should now be prepared for, they will give you a reference number for your appointment, as well as the date and address of the JobCentrePlus. Even though you can use Google to find it, it’s not a bad idea to confirm the address with the operator, because depending on the city, there are several centres where you could go.

Requesting an appointment for the NIN from your country

If you want to get some work done while still at home, you must call with an English number or from an unknown number, so that they don’t refuse to give you the appointment. Whenever they ask, you need to say that you are ALREADY in the UK (that you have been there for days or weeks or whatever you want, but that you are already there). You also need to give them an address, so give them a friend’s address, or the address of the hostel or house where you are going to stay, in addition to a UK phone number where they can call you. Another thing: don’t forget to say that you are looking for a job, even if it’s not true (which I doubt).

I hope this was useful. Look for another post soon!


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