NIN – National Insurance Number
One of the things to prioritize when you arrive in the UK is to book an appointment to get the National Insurance Number (NIN). The NIN is a personal identification number which is assigned by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) to manage your National Insurance contributions and taxes.
The NIN is made up of letters and numbers and never changes. In addition, the National Insurance Number does not have an expiry date.
You can find your NIN number:
- In the payslips;
- In your P60;
- In letters related to your taxes, pension or allowances;
- In the National Insurance section of your Personal Tax Account (PTA).
Who needs the National Insurance Number?
– The employee (employed);
– The Self-employed;
– The trainee or student who wants to pay the contributions of their job;
– The student who wants to apply for a loan to study;
– Anyone who wants to apply for state benefits.
If you plan to work in the UK, you need the National Insurance Number as it is mandatory to work legally, in fact many companies ask for it even before examining you, together with the Curriculum Vitae.
Please note: To prevent identity fraud, keep your NIN number secure.
Who could ask for your National Insurance Number?
These organizations need to know what your NIN number is:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC);
- Your employer;
- The DWP – Department for Work and Pensions;
- Your local council (municipality of residence), if you request housing subsidies;
- Electoral Registration Officer (to verify your identity when you register to vote);
- The Student Loan Company, if you apply for a student loan;
- Authorized financial service providers who help you buy and sell investments such as stocks, bonds and derivatives: you can check whether your supplier is authorized.
You can apply for the National Insurance Number only from British soil. It is one of the first things to do as soon as you arrive in the UK if you are planning to work or apply for a student loan.
You can request the National Insurance Number by calling the Jobcentre on the phone.
How to book the National Insurance Number appointment through Jobcenters
To make an appointment for the NIN you must call 0800 141 2075. In fact, it is not possible to make a reservation either online or by going directly to the Jobcentre.
Don’t worry if you are not an expert in English: the operators will guide you in kind and friendly way. Alternatively, you can request us to book an appointment for you.
You can call 0800 141 2075 only and exclusively from the United Kingdom. A virtual voice will invite you to select a key according to whether you want to book an appointment or to update the details of an appointment already booked.
During the interview, you will be asked why you need the NIN. You will also be told how long it will take to get the National Insurance Number.
- First name
- Date of birth
- UK residential address
- Arrival day in the UK
- Nationality. You will be asked if you have one or more nationalities
- English telephone number (get it here)
The operator will give you a reference number, the date of the appointment and the address of the Jobcenter to go to obtain the NIN. Finally, he will summarize the documents to bring and confirm that everything is clear. If you are not absolutely sure that you understand everything, do not hesitate to mention it.
What to bring to the appointment:
- Proof of address. It could be the employment contract, the house contract or a utility bill on your behalf. In case you don’t have a job yet and live in a friend’s house – consequently you don’t have a rental contract – you can ask them for a declaration of your domicile at their house which you can print directly from here.
- The reference number that was given to you over the phone.
- An identity document: passport or national identity document.
- Adoption or birth certificate (if you are not a European citizen).
- If you don’t have a job yet, bring with you search tests, for example emails sent to classifieds sites (eg Gumtree). This will help you prove that you are actually looking for a job.
Please note: if you are a student or work as a nanny, there is a high probability that your application for NIN will be rejected. This is because you do not have a paid job, therefore you would not need a NIN.
Within 3/5 working days you will receive a confirmation letter from the Jobcentre at your home indicating the time and date of the appointment. This letter is NOT to be considered as a proof of address.
In case you don’t receive the letter before the day of the appointment, don’t worry, you go to the Jobcentre anyway.
Please note: It may happen that during the phone call the operator of the Jobcenter does not correctly write your name or your date of birth or other details. Do not worry because you can correct all the details during the interview.
Get to the Jobcentre at least 15 minutes before the appointment. Get organized early, consider any delays due to traffic or the subway, if you arrive late you may not accepted. Once at the Jobcentre, show your reference number and you will be given more instructions.
They will ask you the same questions they asked you over the phone, plus other questions about your job, in case you are already working. They will make a copy of your document and in less than half an hour you will finally be out of the Jobcenter.
Please note: If you think your English is insufficient and you cannot understand the operator well, you can request to be assigned an interpreter. The service is offered free of charge by the Jobcentre.
Timing to obtain the NIN
From the day of the call to the Jobcentre to the day of the appointment, the waiting time can vary from 1 to 30 days. In some cases, during the busiest periods, the wait can reach 45 days. From the day of the appointment at the Job Center to the actual reception of the NIN at your home, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks. We can therefore say that to get the NIN from the day of the first call, it can take about 75 days.
During this period you can start working and, if you have already started your work experience, inform your employer about the date of your appointment. Once you receive the NIN, notify your employer of your number. You don’t need to give them the original copy, you can make a photocopy or simply give them the number. The NIN identifies your person. Remember that there is no longer a temporary NIN as happened over 10 years ago.
I have lost the NIN, how can I recover it?
There are several ways to recover the NIN in case you no longer remember it or have lost it. It often happens that you decide to leave the United Kingdom and return after several years without remembering what your NIN is. Remember that the NIN has no expiration date and it will never change.
How can I recover the National Insurance Number? Here’s how to do it.
- You can find the NIN in your payslip. It is always made of 2 initial letters, a series of 6 numbers and a final letter – Example NIN SP123456A.
- Register your personal account at gov.uk and go to the “income” section. In this section you can access your NIN and print a copy. You can also update your NIN data (for example if you changed your address). Generally you don’t need to change the address of the NIN because the address is updated by your employer.
- Talk to an operator through the NIN live chat: in order to identify you, you will be asked a few questions related to your person, your address and, if your details match those they have, they will help you to recover the NIN.
- For more information and other methods to recover your NIN visit the official website.