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International Students

National Insurance Numbers

If you are not a British Citizen, you will need to apply for a National Insurance number in order to work in the UK.

What is national insurance?

A National Insurance number is made up of a combination of letters and numbers – two  letters, six numbers and then another letter, for example: JS 54 28 94 D.  You will usually receive your NI number shortly before your 16th birthday if you live in the UK. Your National Insurance number is a unique reference code.  The Contributions Agency and Inland Revenue use this to file the information that they have about you. National Insurance contributions are collected by the Inland Revenue.  National Insurance contributions go towards benefits, such as a healthcare and unemployment benefits.

Every UK citizen is issued with a National Insurance number and this can be found on documents such as P45s, P60s, wage slips and other correspondence from the Inland Revenue.

If you are a UK citizen and do not know your National Insurance number, contact the Contributions Agency on 08459 157006 who will trace it for you.

For any further national insurance advice please see the Directgov website;

Applying for a National Insurance Number

If you wish you apply for a National Insurance number you must apply through the government central system. To do this there is a number you need to ring in order to book an appointment.

You can ring and book an appointment through the National Registrations Helpline;
0345 600 0643

When you ring, you will need to provide the following information so it is best to have this written down in front of you before you start:

Why you want an NI number
This may be so that you can get a part-time job whilst you’re a student

Personal Information:

First Name:
Family Name:
Date of birth:
Current Address (and postcode):
Contact phone number:
Country of Origin:
Split Nationality?:
Date came to UK:

Visa Type:
Date Visa Issued:
Date Visa Expires:
Where Visa Issued:

Once you have provided this information the member of staff on the helpline will provide you with a reference number. It is very important that you make a note of this as you will need it throughout your application.

Next Steps

You will be informed at the end of the call with the next steps, which will be dependent on your nationality and if you have any type of visa.  For students on some visa types information has already been checked so a form will be posted to you to complete your application.  When you receive this you can visit the Careers and Employability Centre for assistance in completing this.

Many students are required to attend a face to face appointment at a government Job Centre.


If you are booked an appointment unfortunately this will not be the Job Centre in Lincoln as they are unable to issue national insurance numbers.  You will be allocated an appointment at a Job Centre in Nottingham or Kings Lynn (please request Nottingham as your preference as the journey is shorter)

You may be sent to the centre in Nottingham for your appointment, if the member of staff on the phone describes this as ‘Nottingham Hyson Green’ then the address for this centre is as follows;

Job Centre Plus
124-126 Radford Rd

If you are sent to a different office, you should ask the person on the phone for the post code so that you are able to find this easily.

Getting there

You can book a train to any of the locations through various different websites including the National Rail website, and the Trainline.

Keep a note of the post code and address so that you are able to get a taxi to the job centre or ask someone for directions as it’s important to be on time!

Ensure that you book your train time early enough so that you have sufficient time to find the location when you arrive.