We’re getting near the end of our series about integrating into the UK as an expat, and this post is going to be the shortest of them all. It doesn’t take much effort to get a National Insurance Number, but you’re definitely going to need one for when you get a job.
The National Insurance Number is the Canadian equivalent to the Social Insurance Number. You will need to get one of these so you can work in the UK. Though you are able to start working without a NIN you’ll need to get one within the first few weeks of work, so it’s a good idea to apply before you actually start working.
Apply for a UK National Insurance Number
Before you start applying make sure you have an address you can receive mail to. Just like opening a bank account, applying for the NIN is all done by mail. You will need to call the Jobcentre Plus at 0345 600 0643. They are open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday to Friday. When calling, make sure you have your passport and visa ready as they will ask for it over the phone; the phone call is quick and easy and shouldn’t take more then five minutes. After the call they will send you a package to fill out. You’ll need to fill out all the questions and send a photocopy of your passport and visa page.
Once they receive your application they will send you a piece of paper with your NIN on it. You will not receive a plastic card, just a piece of paper with the number on it. This is what you will provide to your employer when you start work. The whole process can take up to 6 weeks so apply as soon as you can. We got our NIN in about 3 weeks.
Now that you’ve applied for your National Insurance Number, it’s time to get a job!