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Hi! My name is Diogo and I’m writing this article to help you understand what a National Insurance Number is, what it is for, and how to get it! In addition, I also explain what you need to apply and what to do if you forget what your number is. When I came to study in the UK five years ago I had to get a national insurance number to find a part-time job to help me finance my studies, and it would have been easier to understand everything if I could have read this article at the time!

In a nutshell, the Nino is the number you need to have if you want to work in the UK. To get it, you have to apply online here. This is the number that employers need to use to pay you and that the HM Revenue and Customs will use to identify you as a taxpayer.

Below, you can find more detailed explanations of the National Insurance Number and its process!


Why do I need a National Insurance Number?

The Nino allows you to work in the UK. A NINO is made up of 2 letters, 6 numbers and a final letter, for example QQ 12 34 56 A, and it is unique to you. You need to be over 16 and you can apply if you live in the UK and have the right to work here – check what your visa says! Also, if you have an offer to start working or if you already have started you can still apply. You don’t need to apply if you have lost your Nino or if you have a biometric residence permit which has a National Insurance number printed on it.

What do I need to apply?

To apply, the main thing is that you have to prove your identity. Therefore, it is necessary to have one of the following documents:

  • Passport from any country;
  • A biometric residence;

If you are from Europe, Norway, Liechtenstein or Norway you can provide your national identity card.

“When I came to study in the UK 2 years ago I had to get a national insurance number to find a part-time job to help me finance my studies, so even if it’s extra admin work, I would totally try to get a Nino if I were you!”
National Insurance Number For International Students
Spanish Student in the UK

How do I obtain my National Insurance Number? Can I do it online?

Yes, it is online that you apply and you can do it here. After doing the application online, you might have to send more documents or attend a meeting to prove your identity. After applying, it can take up to 16 weeks to receive your Nino letter at home.

What do I do if I lost my National Insurance Number?

If you have lost your number, you can call the National Insurance Helpline for help. They are going to write to you and confirm the NINO for you, they are not going to give you this information over the phone. 

You can always check your Nino on official documents – such as playslips, tax return, or a PAYE coding notice.

Where Can I Find My National Insurance Number as a Student?

It is possible to view and download a letter to confirm the number through your personal tax account

Here is an example of a letter:

National Insurance Number for International Students

This is all you needed to know to understand the process of getting a National Insurance Number and its importance if you want to work in the UK. For other tips on how to live in the UK and help getting settled in, you can use Movido’s services!

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