Why do you need a NI number?

A National Insurance (NI) number is used by the government to track your taxes and National Insurance contributions. Everyone who wants to work in the UK needs one. If you don’t have an NI number you will pay emergency tax rates, which are higher than normal tax rates. Applying for an NI number is a time-consuming process involving long, expensive phone calls and a fair amount of waiting. With our Easy NINO service, we do all the hard work for you, providing assistance throughout the process.

Is this the first time you're applying for an NI number?

If you have a valid UK visa, passport, or you are an EU citizen, and have never applied for your NI number before, then this is the option for you. We answer any query you have within four hours and are always available via online chat during work hours.

How to get your NI number

  1. You’ll complete our easy online application form
  2. We’ll call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for you and register your details
  3. Then we arrange your Evidence of Identity Interview with the DWP and ensure that you are fully prepared with the right documentation for your interview
  4. You will then receive your NI number within four to six weeks
  5. If you don’t receive your NI number within four to six weeks, we will follow up with the DWP for you and ensure you receive it
 

The best way to apply for your NI number

1. Complete

Complete our easy online application form

2. Apply

We register your details with the DWP

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3. Receive

Attend your EOI interview and receive your NI number in four to six weeks

We help you by:

  • Registering your details with the DWP
  • Booking your evidence of identity appointment
  • Advising you on what to take to your appointment
 

NI number FAQ

Have any questions about getting an NI number? Take a look at our frequently asked questions

What is a National Insurance (NI) number?

It’s the number that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) allocates to you, in order for them to track your tax and National Insurance contributions and ensure that you are paying the correct amount. This number is unique to you and you will keep the same number throughout your life. If you need to call the DWP or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they will ask you for your NI number before they are able to assist you.

Do I really need one? Friends have told me that they worked for years without an NI number.

Yes you do. While you can work for some time with a temporary NI number, the practice of using these numbers to claim back tax is no longer allowed. You will need a permanent NI number in order to claim back overpaid tax at the end of the year.

Can I work if I don’t have an NI number?

Yes, you can for a couple of weeks provided you have a valid visa or passport that allows you to live and work in the UK. However, most employers insist on you having an NI number before employment. So its best to apply for it as soon as you arrive so you can let potential employers know that you have started the process.

Can I apply for one before I arrive in the UK?

No, the laws and policy around NI numbers require you to be in the UK with a reasonable need and right to apply for one.

What happens at the evidence of identity interview?

You will be interviewed one-on-one (unless you request an interpreter). You will be asked questions around why you need an NI number, where you are from and your current employment circumstances. They will also check your identity and whether or not you are allowed to live and work in the UK.

Can you fast track my application?

Unfortunately not, there is no way to fast track your application through the DWP – they work on a case by case basis and the NI number is always issued within their set time frames. From our side, your details will be registered on the same day you sign up with us (provided it's within our opening hours and you are present in the UK).

Can I register for an NI number if I’m not in the UK?

It is a set requirement by the DWP that you are physically in the UK when you register with them. Your date of arrival is requested and checked when you go for your interview. We can certainly get all the relevant information from you before your arrival and register your details the day you arrive in the UK to ensure that there are no delays in getting you set up with an NI number.

What happens if I forget, lose or misplace my NI number?

Your National Insurance number is issued to you for life, so even if you move out of the UK and return 20 years later, your NI number will remain the same. If you forget your NI number and don’t have any documents like P60s, P45s or old pay slips to refer to, you will need to go through HMRC and get a letter with your NI number issued to you.

What is the National Insurance contribution? Is it like tax?

National Insurance contributions are compulsory deductions taken by your employer from your earnings and given to the UK pension scheme. These contributions are separate to regular income tax and are very similar to the compulsory superannuation payments in Australia. The UK government will use these funds to pay out to retired UK citizens eligible to draw a pension.

See Easy NINO terms and conditions

  • I do not currently have a National Insurance (NI) number and wish to apply to be registered for one.
  • I have not successfully applied for a NI number and am not waiting to be notified of the outcome of a previous application for such a number.
  • I understand that in order for Sable International to begin the registration process with the Department for Works and Pensions, I will need to physically be present in the UK. 
  • I declare that the information given is correct and complete.
  • I understand that if I give information that is incorrect, action may be taken against me.
  • I understand that my personal information will be shared with the Department for Works and Pensions and their employees.
  • I agree to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) contacting those persons or organisations detailed within this application form to confirm the details I have supplied in my application for an NI number.
  • If applicable, I also agree to the DWP and HMRC contacting the Department of Social and Family Affairs in the Republic of Ireland to confirm details held on their computer system.
  • The NI Number will normally be advised within six to eight weeks of the customer attending the NI interview or completing and returning the forms by post. While six to eight weeks is the standard turnaround time, delays caused by the DWP due to system faults and/or industrial action are beyond Sable International’s control and could delay my application.
  • I understand that I have to attend an evidence of identity interview at a local Job Centre set out by the Department for Works and Pensions.
  • If cancellation is requested after a DWP reference or serial number has been issued, I will be subject to a £10 administrative charge. All refunds are subject to managerial discretion.
  • I acknowledge and agree to pay Sable International to provide value added guidance, support and assistance related to obtaining an NI interview or forms. Booking the interview and/or requesting forms is provided free of charge by the DWP.
  • I acknowledge that this website and service are operated by Sable International and are in no way affiliated with, endorsed by or regulated by the DWP, JobCentrePlus or HMRC.
  • I understand that in certain cases, HMRC will issue a cheque covering overpaid emergency tax to recent NI number applicants. The cheque may be sent to Sable International; in which case, they will pay the emergency tax refund to me, less a processing fee. Should I not want Sable International to process my cheque, I must advise them by phone or email and they will return the cheque to HMRC. I will then need to submit a claim to HMRC for the refund.
  • There may be some circumstances (including, but not limited to, change of address and cases of non-delivered forms) when the DWP will need to speak directly to me because of the UK Data Protection Act 1988. In these cases, Sable International cannot call on my behalf and I will need to call the DWP.
  • I understand the importance of providing an address that will be valid from the time of application to at least eight weeks later. I acknowledge that a change of address transaction with the DWP may cause my application to be flagged as fraudulent and may cause delays and may result in me having to attend an interview in order to authenticate my address details. Sable International reserves the right to levy an administration charge for address changes.

Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR

To enable us to discharge the services agreed under this engagement, and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance, we may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you.

You have a right of access, under data protection legislation, to the personal data that we hold about you. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018, the Data Controller in relation to personal data supplied about you is Ashley Deakin. We may disclose your personal data to any member of our group of companies (this means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and all its subsidiaries) insofar as we believe that their respective services will be pertinent to you. We and our other group companies have offices and facilities in South Africa and Australia. The European Commission has made an "adequacy decision" with respect to the data protection laws of each of these countries. Transfers to each of these countries will be protected by appropriate safeguards, namely the use of standard data protection clauses adopted by the European Commission.

About Sable International

We’ve been helping people start their lives in the UK for over 20 years. Many of our team members have lived and worked in the UK themselves; they understand the frustrations of relocation. We go out of our way to make your move to the UK as easy as possible

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