Getting a National Insurance number

In order to undertake paid employment in the UK, you will need to apply for a National Insurance number. You can only apply once you are in the UK. You must be looking for work or have an offer for a job to apply. You can start work without a National Insurance number but you will need one to avoid paying emergency tax.

You need to apply online for a National Insurance number on the Gov.UK website.

You will need prove your identity, you can use a:

  • passport from any country
  • biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • national identity card from an EU country/ Norway/ Liechtenstein/ Switzerland.

You can still apply if you do not have any of these documents but you may need to attend an appointment to prove your identity.

The online form will ask you to provide:

  • the date you arrived in the UK
  • your address in the UK
  • your date of birth.

When you have proven your identity, it can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance number.

If you need help with your National Insurance number application, you can call 0800 141 2079 from Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm.