Everyone who is legally able to work in the UK needs an NI Number or NINO. If you are coming from overseas there is a recommended way to apply for your NI number. This can save you time and frustration by having everything organised for you and ensuring all the correct documents are taken to the interview or submitted (if no interview is required). Check out some of the comments on this website to see what can go wrong.
However if you have the time and patience here are the steps on how to apply for a NI number.
Please pay particular attention to the examples of documents you need to take to your interview. It is possible to not be successful if you are not able to satisfy the interviewer that you are who you say you are and legally able to work in the UK. The NI number is important for many things including access to the welfare and free healthcare system so they take it seriously.
How to Apply for NI Number Yourself:
- Organise for an EOI (Evidence of Identity Interview) through Job Centre Plus by calling 0845 600 0643 Monday to Friday 8am–6pm – be prepared for a long wait on the phone. HRMC website advises, lines are “normally less busy before 9.00 am”
- The Job Centre Plus will give you a date, time and location of your interview (this interview will needs to done during their business hours)
- It is often not clear what evidence of identity you need to bring to the interview and if you are coming from overseas you often do not have much.
- Examples of documents which count are:
- valid passport
- national identity card (any Nationality)
- full birth or adoption certificate
- full marriage or civil partnership certificate
- driving licence (UK or foreign)
- residence permit or card
- biometric immigration documents
- letter of employment – (this can be provided by a recruitment agency)
- travel documents
Basically take everything you have that could be used to identify you so you avoid having to get additional information.
If you do not satisfy the requirements the interview:
- If you are not able to prove your identity and legal entitlement to work in the UK you will be asked for additional documents and information. You will have to provide these by an agreed date.
What happens next?
- The Jobcentre Plus will write and let you know whether your application was successful and what your National Insurance Number is (NINO).
- This usually takes two to four weeks, although it can take up to two months.
Getting an NI Number is a process that everyone has to go through if they have just arrived in the UK and want to work. You can avoid a lot of frustration and unnecessary headaches by getting a NI Number with the services of a work and travel company. Getting assistance to organise you interview and advice of what to bring to the interview provides piece of mind and save you time and frustration.
If you have a passport from outside of Europe and a visa issued outside of Britain to work in the UK an interview may not be required for some services.