If you intend to work in the UK, you will need the National Insurance Number. It has been like this since 1911. This way it has been accomplished that every employee contributes to welfare and healthcare. If you think it is complicated to get it, you are wrong. On the contrary, if you do some research and follow all the steps you are supposed to do, you will get your national insurance number very fast.
The purpose and meaning of the National Insurance Number
If you were in the USA, you will notice that the National Insurance Number is similar to their Social Security number. Sometimes they call it NINO or simply NI number, for short. Everyone who is eligible to make contributions will receive it. This way the government is able to track your contributions and payments. No matter how many jobs you intend to do, your number will remain the same. You can get married, move abroad and even change your name but you are not allowed to change your number and it is going to be the same for the rest of your life. There are a lot of different ways to receive it. Still, if you are a UK resident this is your birth right and you will receive it when you turn 16. However, if you are a foreigner and you still want to work in the UK then you can apply for it. As soon as you apply for your NI number you are able to work, because you are going to receive a so-called temporary number. There are some conditions you need to fulfill if you want to be a good applicant. You need to have a phone number and a postal address, that is, to live in the UK.
If you are a foreigner then you need to apply for it
Depending on the country you are coming from, the conditions are slightly different. There is a difference between European Union and Non – EU Citizens. Some things are the same for everyone, such as calling the Job Centre Plus. They are available for clients from Monday to Friday between 8Am to 6PM. The contact number is 0345 600 0643. After you arrange a meeting you will have to bring your passport, driving license, work contract, residence permit, marriage certificate if you are married, birth certificate, and the proof of studies if you are a student. When you finally manage to go to the interview you will be asked about your reasons for applying. Then they will offer you to fill out some forms and that would be the last you are going to do before you receive your NI Number. Expected waiting period is about 3 weeks.
This number is an assurance to the government but also an assurance to the worker. You can even lose your card but still not lose your right for the contributions or pay slips. This way you are protected, too as a worker and citizen. In case this happens you can fill out the CA5403 form and you will receive your confirmation of your number on your personal e-mail address.