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How to apply for a National Insurance Number (NIN) in the UK

how to apply for a national insurance number

If you wish to work in the United Kingdom, you must have a National Insurance Number (NIN). But what is the National Insurance Number? It is a unique number issued by the UK Department for Work and Pension. Without an NIN, you cannot claim any tax refund you may be due in the UK. You must have it to work legally in the country.

Before coming to London, I myself wanted to know how to get my NIN. I researched on the internet and found a lot of information on what to do, but no relevant information. Then, I decided it would be better and easier to get one once I was there. Upon my arrival in London in early September, I did not know where to start. So I asked for help from my roommate who was fortunately an English native. Now to help make your journey easier, I have listed the steps on how to apply for your NIN below:

Go to the nearest Job Center. The host gives you a document with the procedure.

Dial the telephone number listed on the paper. (This can also be done using the free telephones provided at Job Centre.) The telephone advisor fixes an appointment for an interview. He will ask for your basic details including an identity proof and the date  when you entered the UK. He will also communicate a number required for the appointment.

  • A letter of invitation will be sent to your current address. It shows

    the documents you must bring at the appointment:

  • - Evidence of your identity: passport, identity card etc.

    - A document that proves your residence: rental agreement for example.

    - The employment contract or documents that show that you are in the process of searching a job.

    - All other documents that may be relevant (non-exhaustive list).

    For me, this letter came after my appointment. So do not worry if you do not have it during the interview.

    You go to the Job Center for the interview and wait for your turn. I just needed to show my French passport to validate the procedure. However, it is strongly adviced to bring all the documents. During the interview, the interviewer asks you a few questions: what are you doing in London, how long is your stay in the UK, your background and so on. He fills a paper which you sign thereafter.

    What happens after the interview: The Job Center will let you know by mail if your application has been successful or not. You will receive this mail between two to four weeks. If after this period you receive no response, call the Job Center to assess the situation.

    The easiest and fastest way to get you NIN is to do it once you have arrived in Britain. If you need any help for your expatriation to London, do not hesitate to join our community on

    See you next time for more  tips in London!

    Category: Insurance

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