NINo your number for working in UK

Submitted by Nicola Rainiero on 2013-03-09 (last updated on 2013-05-24)

Sometimes the foreigners don't know they are allowed to work in UK only if they have the National Insurance Number, me too. In this article I describe some tips and personal advice to obtain this number.

What is NINo alias National Insurance Number? Is a special and personal number that will make sure you pay the correct amount of tax and National Insurance contributions. Furthermore if you do not tell your employer your NINo it may cause a delay in the payment of any benefits you may claim in the future. The format of the number is two prefix letters, six digits, and one suffix letter1. More and helpful information about NINo are here.


You must have the right to work in the UK and an address, because this number will be sent be postal mail. I come from an EEA country so I hadn't any problem to make this application.

Application for a NINo

You have to call the Phone Jobcentre Plus for an application form, using this number: 0845 600 0643 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm). Jobcentre Plus may ask you to come to an interview. In my case although there was a Jobcentre in Eastbourne, I had to go in the Brighton one. Fortunately I used the phone at the Eastbourne jobcentre to make the phone call, so I save a lot of money! (But remember to ask first the permit at the employees)

A little tip is to write in a paper sheet your personal data with the correct spelling (name, address, phone). If you want to repass the correct pronunciation of the alphabet I suggest you this Alphabet Chart Video.

During the phone call, the questions are simple: why are you applying for a NINo? Is for you? What's your name, address and so on? How long are you living in England? Do you consider yourself to have a disability?
Despite these, I requested at the exhausted employee to repeat some questions.

Finally you receive the appointment and the reservation number for the access at the interview... I had to wait 10 days. Bring with you passport and codice fiscale (if you are Italian). They ask you a lot of addresses: the last one in Italy and all ones where you lived and are living in the UK. The employee check with you if your data is correct and the procedure is complete with the signatures (your and 2 employeers). They give you a letter/receive can be used as proof of your application. After one or two week you will receive the number (I had been waiting for 12 days).

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Nicola Rainiero

A civil geotechnical engineer with the ambition to facilitate own work with free software for a knowledge and collective sharing. Also, I deal with green energy and in particular shallow geothermal energy. I have always been involved in web design and 3D modelling.