When I first heard about the National Insurance (NI) Number, I didn’t really pay any attention to it. I wish that I had done though, because later, when I had to deal with it for real, I was kind of lost. There’s not much information about it on the university website so if you’re not from the UK, I try to give you a useful summary on what this number is or what to expect at the interview. (Yes, there is an interview that you have to attend but it’s not at all as scary as it sounds, I promise!)
- What is a NI number and what is it for?
It is basically a card with numbers and letters on it which identifies you when it comes to working. If you’re an international student and wish to have a job, you need to have an NI number in order to get paid.
- How to apply for it?
First, you have to give them a call, the number of the Jobcentre Plus is: 0345 600 0643. I remember that I was a bit nervous before calling them; email is way easier, isn’t it? But there is actually a good reason for having to call them; they are going to ask you several questions on the phone. That’s why it is advised to have your documents in front of you whilst speaking to them. Their questions are nothing demanding though, you just have to tell them your name, your address, the date when you first arrived to the UK and the reason why you would like to have a NI number. (Because you were either offered a job or because you are applying for a job now.) At the end of the conversation, you receive an appointment for an interview. For me, the interview didn’t take place in Leicester, but at least I made a nice trip to Coventry…
- How does the interview work?
To be honest, I wouldn’t call these things interviews, they are rather personal appearances which mostly serve the purpose of presenting your documents to them such as your passport or residence permit. Sure, they ask you a few questions, but they are basically the same as the ones that you were asked in the phone conversation. My “interview” lasted about 5 minutes and then I was done. Two weeks later I received a letter that my application was successful – happy ending to a boring story…
If you have any questions about this, just ask me here -I became pretty much an expert of it- or ask Unitemps! Just pop in, they are located in Percy Gee Building and they will help you out with these official, unpleasant but need-to-do things!