The National Insurance number (most commonly abbreviated to NI) in the United Kingdom was introduced with the National Insurance Act of 1911. Since then, this number has been used to identify every person with a job and ensure that every citizen of UK contributes to the state. This regular contribution finances the basic services of the state – healthcare, pension and welfare. Though it may seem a little bit complicated, the procedures involved are really simple, once you get to know yourself with the regulations. Keep reading to find out the most important facts about the UK National Insurance number, including EU and non-EU residents.
What exactly is the NI number?
Every citizen of the United Kingdom may or may not be eligible to pay the aforementioned contributions to the state. Once a resident of the UK reaches 16 years of age, he or she becomes eligible and receives a NI number. It is a unique code comprised of letters and numbers which a person carries for the rest of his life. This number will stay the same even if you marry, change your name or move to another location or country. Thanks to this number, every contribution and tax you pay will be recorded and you can also access other services of the NHS, data about benefits and you can also vote in the UK elections.
When can you get an NI number?
In order to apply for an NI number you have to fulfill two basic conditions: you need to have a UK postal address and a phone number. One thing to remember is that you can begin working in the UK even if you do not have a NI number. This is quite common because your employer can supply your temporary number. Take note that you will have to arrange a permanent NI number as soon as possible, services such as NI Apply make the process easy.
Who needs a NI number?
Every person 16 or older who is working needs to have an NI number. This means that every employed or self-employed person will receive this number. There is an income limit which determines which people have to pay taxes and contributions. Every employed person who is making more than 155 pounds per week is obliged to pay National Insurance contributions. This amounts to 12% of your income.
NI number for EU citizens
Every person interested to apply for an NI number needs to contact the Jobcentre Plus. This is the service responsible for NI number matters., You can contact them through this telephone number: 0345 600 0643, every workday from 8:00 to 18:00. You will have to answer a couple of questions about your employment and current residence. After that, an apointment will be scheduled. Be sure to bring important documents such as your passport, ID card, residence permit, birth certificate, driving license, marriage certificate, and other documents you might be requested to bring. If everything checks out, your NI number will arrive withing three weeks.