All adults in the UK must have a National Insurance Number in order to work. National Insurance Numbers are issued usually when a person turns 16, and it is sent in the post on a card or in a letter. This number is used to identify a person when being taxed, being paid, and is a series of two letters and then numbers, and then one letter at the end.
Your National Insurance Number will stay the same throughout your life, regardless of whether you change your name, address, or get married.
If you have moved to the UK and would like to work, you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number. You can apply for a National Insurance Number by the phone.
The number is 0800 141 2075.
They are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Once you have spoken to them, they will invite you to attend an interview at the Jobcentre Plus to confirm your identity and why you need a National Insurance Number.
They will send you a letter with instructions on where to attend the interview, and what to bring, such as:
- Passport or identity card.
- Residence permit.
- Birth or adoption certificate.
- Marriage or civil partnerships certificate.
- Driving licence.
At the interview, you will be told how long it will take to receive your national insurance number.
The nearest Jobcentre Plus offices are:
Northdate House, 115-120 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1EZ
Crown House, The Brook, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4LQ
The Jobcentre Plus is clearly located with a logo, and at the door, there will be ushers inside who will tell you which office to go to.
You can begin work without a national insurance number, if you can prove that you do have the right to work in the UK. You should tell your employer that you have applied for one, and give it to them as soon as it arrives. If you continue to work without a National Insurance Number, it is likely that your wages will be subject to emergency tax and you will have trouble reclaiming it back.