How can you apply for a national insurance number?

The national insurance number (NINO) is a number used in the United Kingdom in the administration of the national insurance or social security system. You can only apply for it once you’re in the UK, and you must have the right to work or study in the UK to receive a NI number.

You need to apply for a NI number if you:

  • Are working in the UK
  • Are self-employed
  • Claim benefit or tax credits in the UK
  • Are a partner or a person who has claimed benefit or tax credits
  • Are applying for a loan from the student loan company


How can you apply for a NI number?

You need to apply by phone for a NINO.

Telephone: 0800 141 2075

Text phone: 0800 141 2438

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm


Welsh language: 0800 141 2349

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm

You may have a NI number printed on the back of your biometric residence permit (BRP). You don’t need to apply for a national insurance number if you already have one, or one is printed on your BRP.

Working without a NI number

You can start work before your NI number arrives if you can prove you can work in the UK. However, you should tell your employer that you’ve applied for one, and provide it to them when you have it.

NI number interview

Jobcentre Plus may write to you and ask you to come to an interview where you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a national insurance number.

The letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity, such as:

  • Your passport or identity card
  • Your residence permit
  • Your birth or adoption certificate
  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Your driving licence


You’ll be told at the interview how long it’ll take to receive your national insurance number.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 2 category, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or complete our enquiry form below.