National Insurance pays for pensions and health services. Most employers require your National Insurance number before you start work and it’s a good idea to get one as soon as possible as it makes it easier to access hospital services. They are also required should you ever wish to make a claim for a tax refund.  Numbers are issued through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and getting one can be a hassle.

Once you arrive in the UK you can apply for your National Insurance number. For foreigners it is also recommended that, once you have a number, you contract out of the State Pension in order to receive a National Insurance rebate.

Phone 0845 600 0643 from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday to arrange an appointment.

Take your passport, a letter confirming you are employed or registered with an agency and two or three other pieces of ID. Within eight weeks you’ll get a number in the post.

Alternatively, if you’ve already started working, your employer may be able to apply for a National Insurance number on your behalf.

Ask for a CA5407 form which is completed by both the employee and employer and then sent to Jobcentre Plus in Glasgow. For more details visit HM Revenue & Customs or go to your nearest Job Centre.

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