If you’re planning on moving to the UK to work, you’ll need to apply for your National Insurance (NI) number. We’ve put together a quick guide to clarify why you need an NI number and how to go about getting one.
What is an NI number?
This is the unique number given to you by the Department for Work and Pensions. It’s used to track your tax and NI contributions every year as well as ensure that you’re paying the correct amounts to HMRC.
EU nationals are also required to have an NI number in order to access the benefits of the UK health system, but it’s not to be confused with your NHS number. Visa holders pay a health surcharge in order to access these benefits.
Do I really need one?
In short, yes.
If you do not have an NI number, you will end up paying higher, emergency tax rates. Employers usually deduct emergency tax from your salary at a flat rate of 22%. You need an NI number to be able to claim back overpaid tax at the end of the year.
How do I apply for my NI number?
You must be in the UK with a stamped passport, and a reasonable need and right to apply for an NI number before you can make a booking for an NI number appointment.
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