If you plan to go to the UK to work or study then you need to get yourself a National Insurance Number (NiNo). If you’re not sure if you should use a professional service to take care of this for you or go your own way then keep on reading. We’ve put together an overview of the different options to help you decide which is best.
What is a National Insurance Number?
A National Insurance Number is a unique number that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) provide you with. This number is used to keep track of the National Insurance contributions you’ve made. You’re able to apply for a NiNo as soon as you arrive in the country if you’ve got plans to work or study in the UK. Even if you switch jobs or change colleges/universities you keep the same National Insurance number
Do You Really Need a National Insurance Number?
To keep it short and simple yes you do. While it’s possible to find short-term work with a temporary National Insurance Number you can no longer claim back tax using one of these temporary numbers. To get back your overpaid tax you need a permanent National Insurance Number
How to Apply for a National Insurance Number
If you have plans to live, work, or study in the UK then there are two ways to apply for a National Insurance Number
Do It Yourself
You can find out more about the basic information and contact details that you need to apply for a National Insurance Number yourself. You’re the one making all the phone calls, filling in all the forms, booking all the meetings and attending all the interviews, all of which can eat up a lot of your time and money
The Easy Way
If you don’t want to spend hours talking to people on the phone then there is another option. You can pay a small fee to have all of the work done for you. All you need to do is fill in a few application forms and sign a few documents and a professional agency will take care of the rest, delivering you your NiNo in 1 or 2 months (More info: https://ni-apply.co.uk/). If you’re applying for a NiNo using a passport from a country within the European Economic Area (which includes UK passports) then you will need to have a meeting with the DWP but the agency takes care of arranging that meeting with you.
When you apply for your NiNo online you have more time to explore your new home and spend a lot less time dealing with your telephone.