Similar to an Australian Tax File Number, if you are working in the UK you need a National Insurance Number.
Applying for a National Insurance Number in theory is easy, but with anything that you do for the first time in a foreign country it is of course a little bit tricker for us expats.
A National Insurance Number is a unique number and makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name.
You can start working without a National Insurance Number, but you will pay much higher tax. For me, I started a job without a National Insurance Number, but was able to get the paperwork sorted before the monthly payday which meant I was always on the right tax bracket.
Applying for a National Insurance Number can’t be done until you are in the UK and the hardest hurdle is that you need an address. You need an address for HMRC to send you the paperwork for you to complete and then to send back the actual NIN.
I used a friend’s address which worked quite well. You can always update your details later so the address doesn’t need to be your permanent one, just somewhere where you can safely have your mail delivered.
There is a timeframe of about 4 – 6 weeks for completion, so apply as early as possible. In my experience it took four weeks from the initial phone call to having my National Insurance Number, so timing wise that is quite good for any Government department.
Applying for a National Insurance Number is quite straight forward and the first step is to go online to Gov.uk.
I hope that helps you with your move to London. R xo
How did you find applying for a National Insurance Number? Share below in the comments.