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How to apply for a National Insurance Number

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How to apply for a National Insurance Number

National Insurance Number (often called NIN or NINO) is similar to your Tax File Number in Australia, IRD in New Zealand or SIN number in Canada.
In the UK the NI number is also used as a form of identification by many departments including the free NHS healthcare system.

Everyone who works in the UK requires a National Insurance (NI) Number.
You can start work before your National Insurance number arrives if you can prove you can work in the UK. You should tell your employer that you’ve applied for one, and give it to them when you have it.

To apply for a National Insurance number, you’ll need to apply by phone.

If you’re moving to the UK

You may have a National Insurance (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.
You may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this – it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status.

If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you must apply. You can only apply for a National Insurance number once you are in the UK. You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.

When you phone, you will need to give the operator the following:
• Your full name
• Date of Birth
• Date you arrived in the UK
• Full UK address including postcode
• UK contact number

National Insurance number interview

As part of the NIN application, you’ll be required to attend an Evidence of Identity (EOI) interview at your closest job centre.
Date, time and location details for this interview will be given over the phone when you’re applying for your National Insurance number, you’ll also be sent a letter in the post from Job Centre Plus, confirming your appointment details, within 3-5 days of the call. You’ll be given a reference number which you’ll need to take to your appointment.

At the interview you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.

Your appointment letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity.


If you’re travelling on an Australian or New Zealand Passport this will be:
• Proof of address (signed tenancy agreement)
• Proof of employment (signed employment contract), if you’ve already started work.
• Valid NZ or AUS passport
• Residence permit (BRP card)
•  Along with any documents you’ve received from the home office


If your travelling on a British or EU passport this will be:
• Proof of address (signed tenancy agreement)
• Proof of employment (signed employment contract), if you’ve started work
• Your valid passport/s or national identity card/s

You’ll be told at the interview how long it’ll take to receive your National Insurance number, this is usually 3-5 weeks dependent on processing times.


5 Issues this may cause if you are arriving in the UK without pre-arranged housing or employment

  1. No proof of address or employment can lead to your NIN application being declined or put on hold, until you can provide the required documentation.
  2. Delays to your NIN application may cause prospective employers to put you right to the back of the interview cue.
  3. While still waiting to interview for a job, Banks will be reluctant to open a UK account for you without proof of employment
  4. Without a UK Bank Account, Property Managers will be reluctant to accept any tenancy applications to get you into accommodation.
  5. The circle repeats, wasting you time and money, when you should be out exploring your new city, London!

5 ways we can help you get set up

  1. With the Jumpstart London Program we will have your accommodation and employment arranged for you before you leave your home country. So when you arrive in London you are ready to move straight into suitable housing and start your job.
  2. Leading up to your trip our Australian based team (who have all lived in London before) will help you through your job and program applications. Once approved by our London Head Office, you will be sent your job contract and a preview list of our accommodation options.
  3. Week 1: On arrival in London you will attend a group Orientation Session in our Head Office in South Bank Central. We will run through all the details for the available house listings and your job induction. In the following days, you will see all the property options, decide on your favourite, sign a lease and move in!
  4. Week 2: Once you’ve moved into your shared housing and attended your job induction you’ll come back into our Head Office for a 1 on 1 session with our UK Programs Coordinator. Now ready with your Signed Tenancy Agreement and Signed Employment Contract, we will be able to set up your UK Bank Account and arrange your EOI interview at your closest job centre. With all the necessary documents in hand, you’ll be able to successfully apply for your NIN.
  5. 3-5 weeks later you will receive in the mail your NIN to pass on to your employer. Now all set up with a job, housing, NIN, and Bank Account you’ll be free to explore!

To speak with one of our friendly team members regarding assistance, give us a call on 1300 295 579 or shoot us an email at

For more info on how it all works

The Working Holiday Club