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How to apply for a National Insurance Number

What is a National Insurance Number?

You will need a National Insurance Number if you are going to earn an income in the UK, or plan to receive state benefits (government-funded aid). The NIN is not related to the health system.

A National Insurance Number is composed of letters and numbers: AA123456C.

It is unique for each individual, and never changes.

National Insurance Numbers apply for adults and children above 16 years old. Children under 16 do not need National Insurance Numbers.

How to apply for a National Insurance Number

There are currently 2 ways of obtaining a National Insurance Number

1 – Your National Insurance Number might be at the back of your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit).

It will look like this: NI NUMBER AA123456C.

Some of our clients have found their NIN at the back of their BRP, others have not. It is not made clear by the Home Office in which cases this happens, or not. Therefore always check your BRP first.

2- If you cannot find the NIN on the back of your BRP, you can apply online:

https://www.apply-national-insurance-number.service.gov.uk/apply/welcome

You will need to answer a few questions and enter some information:

  • Passport number
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Whether you have a dual nationality
  • Whether you have lived in the UK all your life
  • If not, date of your arrival in the UK
  • Full UK address
  • Phone number

You should only apply once you are physically in the UK, and have an address where you will receive your correspondence.

3 – You might have to attend a physical appointment, to show your Passport, in addition to your online application.

To obtain an appointment, you will need to call the Department for Work and Pension – the number will be indicated after you have submitted your application online.

Unfortunately you will not be able to choose the date or location of the interview. However, you can cancel and rebook an appointment if it doesn’t suit you.

What happens then?

If you have completed your application for a NIN, a letter will be sent to you within 16 weeks. It will contain your NIN.

You should keep it safely, but, should you lose it, you can always call the Department for Work and Pensions to request for them to re-send you a confirmation letter.

There is nothing else to do, your NIN is recorded in the government’s system forever.

What if you have lost your National Insurance Number?

You can always ask for a letter confirming your NIN by visiting the following website:

https://www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number

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