How to Get Your NI Number

Getting your National Insurance (NI) number is one of the most challenging parts of an expat’s life. The good thing is that you have come to the right place! We’ve been helping expats worldwide apply for their National Insurance Numbers.

Dive into this blog to get your NI number sorted the easy way! 

What is a National Insurance Number?

All newcomers planning to work in the UK must have a valid NI number. A national insurance number is a unique code the UK government uses to record all your taxes.

All you need to do is apply once for it, and your number will remain the same for your whole life in the UK. Hence, if you leave the UK this year yet plan to return next year, you won’t need to apply for a new NI number. 

History and Purpose of the NI Number

The National Insurance Act of 1911 formed the basis for NI, but it was much different before. But how the NIC system works hasn’t changed. Both workers and employers still need to pay NICs.

Some employers may allow you to work while waiting for your NI number, but you may face tax disadvantages. If you work without an insurance number, you have to pay emergency national insurance. This will reduce your take-home pay.

Benefits of an NI Number

If you left your job due to any illness or disability, you may apply for employment and support allowance. You must take an assessment to be eligible for the Employment and Support allowance.  Depending on the outcome of the assessment, you may receive one of two amounts. 

When Will You Need a National Insurance Number?

If you’re a UK citizen or a foreign national, you must apply for an NI number as soon as possible. If you don’t have a valid insurance number, it’s wise to get one as soon as you land in the UK. In case of its absence, you won’t be able to claim any of your overpaid taxes. 

How to Apply for an NI Number?

How to Apply for an NI Number

When you get to the UK, you need to complete several steps to apply for an insurance number. As soon as you arrive in the UK, you need to call the Department for Works and Pensions. They will then arrange an interview for you to get your insurance number.

The location of this interview can vary depending on your UK address. Please note that only some job centres and offices can handle these interviews. So you may need to travel for your interview.

Eligibility Criteria

If you’re living in the UK and are looking for work there, you can apply for an insurance number. You must seek employment or have a job offer in the UK.

Application Process

If you’re applying for an insurance number, you can apply via the government’s central system. 

Check out the following link to learn more about the NINO helpline number.

Upon calling this number, you have to provide the following number:

Personal Details

  • Your Name
  • Your Family Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Current Residential Address
  • Contact Number
  • Country of Origin
  • Date of Arrival In the UK

VISA Details

  • Visa Type
  • Date of Issuance
  • Date of Expiry
  • Location of Issuance 

Once you have provided the information, they will give you a reference number. Make sure you note this number, as you will need it throughout your NI number application. 

At the end of the call, they will send you a form to proceed with your application.  Please know that if you’re a student, you must attend a physical appointment at a government job centre. 

Documents Needed

To complete your application easily, keep the following documents ready:

  • A Valid Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • A Valid Work Permit


If you are an overseas citizen and looking for a job, you can get a National Insurance number.  And here’s the good news – you can get your NINo for free! 


The process of your application may take up to four to eight weeks from the date of your interview.  So, if you have already started working, you will have to pay a higher tax rate.

Difference Between National Insurance and Other Forms of Insurance

Difference Between National Insurance and Other Forms of Insurance

National insurance is a system of contributions made for employees to fund benefits. National insurance is quite different from other forms of insurance like health insurance.

Here are some key differences:

Mandatory vs. Optional 

National Insurance contributions are mandatory for most employees and employers in the UK. However, other types of insurance are optional for individuals based on their needs.

Coverage and Benefits

  • NI covers a wide range of benefits related to social security and healthcare.
  • Other insurance types, such as health insurance, focus on covering medical expenses. In comparison, life insurance provides financial support to individuals.

Addressing Problems with Your National Insurance Number

Lost NI Number

If you have lost your national insurance number, relax! Losing your national insurance number happens more often than you might think.

First, look at your essential documents or pay slips to find your NI number. If you can’t find them, try searching online. There are many websites available to help you find lost insurance numbers.

Errors on NI Record

Finding errors in your national insurance record can be disturbing. But hey, you can fix it. Start by collecting all your documentation that shows your correct information. 

The next step is to contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office. You can reach out to them via phone or submit a written request to them. 

They’ll guide you through the process of correcting the errors. This might require you to share proof of your identity and other documents.

Fraud/Identity Theft 

If you are a victim of identity theft, here’s what you need to know:

Report It

Contact your bank immediately to report any suspicious activity on your accounts. They can freeze or close your accounts and guide you further. 

Notify Authorities

Report the identity theft or fraud to the police. They can provide you with a crime reference number, which you may need for documentation.

Official Agencies

If your insurance number has been stolen, report it to the relevant institutions.


Keep records of all reports and steps that you’ve taken to address the issue. This can be crucial for resolving issues or providing evidence of fraud.

Ensure that you are careful about your personal information. Use secure passwords, and be careful when sharing sensitive details. 

seamless money tranfser Online


All in all, getting your insurance number is an important step for anyone living and working in the UK. The process involves applying through the Department for Work and Pensions.

Whether you are a UK citizen or moving to the UK, this can allow you to access several employment benefits.

Even though it seems challenging, seeking help from the right place can help you out. Good luck, expats!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my NI number?

You can contact the nearest jobcenter Plus office to get your national insurance number or ring the NI number helpline. 

Following this, you may be required to attend an interview where they will verify your identity and explain the next steps. 

What is a valid NI number?

A valid NI number is a unique code used in the UK to track your contributions to the National Insurance System. 

How can I verify the NI number?

To verify an NI number, you may require the individual’s personal details or their permission to verify it with the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs. 

How to Find NI Number?

If you’ve lost your NI number, you can try finding it on payslips, tax-related documents, or letters from the Department for Work and Pensions. 

Otherwise, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs or the NI number helpline for assistance.