The UK National Insurance Number (NINo): The Why, How, What and Where Of It

The National Insurance Number or NINo is unique to you and is used to keep a record of your tax payments and when you are dealing with the HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions. Please note that having one does not prove your right to work in the UK. You still have to provide documents to prove you have the entitlement to work in the UK. Here’s the full list for your reference:

  1. a passport showing that you are a British citizen or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and have the right of abode in the United Kingdom
  2. a passport or national identity card showing that you are a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland
  3. a residence permit, registration or certificate or document certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UK Border Agency to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  4. a permanent residence card issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UK Border Agency to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  5. a Biometric Immigration Document issued by the UK Border Agency to the holder which indicates the person named in it is allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, or has no time limit on their stay in the United Kingdom
  6. a passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, has the right of abode in the United Kingdom, or has no time limit on their stay in the United Kingdom
  7. an Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UK Border Agency to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it is allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom or has no time limit on their stay in the United Kingdom, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  8. a full birth certificate issued in the United Kingdom which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  9. a full adoption certificate issued in the United Kingdom which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s adoptive parents, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  10. a birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  11. an adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  12. a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  13. a letter issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UK Border Agency to the holder which indicates that the person named in it is allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, when produced in combination with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/774286/Right_to_Work_Checklist.pdf

The National Insurance Number is essential to those:

  1. Who are or have pans of working in the UK;
  2. Who are self-employed;
  3. Who claim benefit or Tax Credits in the UK;
  4. Who are the partners who have claimed benefit or tax credits;
  5. Who qualifies for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

So, how to do about making an appointment for your NINo application? Allow me to give you an idea of how it is being done:

The first thing you need to do is phone the National Insurance Number line to make an appointment. You will be asked about your personal details. You will then be asked where is the most convenient location for you to attend your personal interview for your NINo application and the suitable or dates available in their system.
Here are the complete contact details:

National Insurance number application line
Telephone: 0800 141 2075 
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Welsh language: 0800 141 2349
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm

You will then receive via post your appointment letter from the Department for Work and Pensions stating the details for your meeting. The letter also shows the list of additional documents you need to take with you on the day of your appointment. Please check the letter (mine) below for your reference.

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On the day of my NINo appointment, I arrived a little bit early and I was not let in until 15 minutes before my appointment schedule. I was then directed to the reception desk. The staff took my reference number and some important details and instructed me to wait for my name to be called. 

When I was called in, the staff initially asked me the reason why I want to apply for a National Insurance Number. I gave him an obvious answer: employment. He then asked for my personal details, my husband’s personal details including his NINo, and my immigration history as he saw I had three visits here in the UK and two of which lasted for more than 4 weeks. He then asked me for a proof of address in which I provided him with a council tax bill. He took my BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) card and made a copy of it then made me sign for authentication purposes. He gave me a receipt letter signifying I had my NINo appointment done and instructions and details as to what happens next (please refer to the letter posted below for the letter I received for your reference). He also pointed out that the release of my NINO will take four (4) to eight (8) weeks and that I will be informed about it through post. He then instructed me to wait for a while for my BRP card as he was taking it to another officer for authentication process. 

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It all went smoothly apart from the waiting and the ‘a bit of a chaos’ in the office as most of the applicants had at least someone with them for added boost of confidence perhaps. I had my husband with me but believe me, we were very much well behaved. (LOL)

2 thoughts on “The UK National Insurance Number (NINo): The Why, How, What and Where Of It

Add yours

  1. Hi and thank you for the interesting post.
    In february 27th I called the JobCenter for applying for the NIN as I found a job.
    I sould have the appointment in mid March but it has been 10 days I haven’t receive the appointment letter yet.
    Is it normal or should I call again?
    How long did it take for you to have that letter?
    Thank you

    Like

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