The first thing that you need when you want to work in the UK work is the National Insurance Number, called NINo. You cannot work here without this.

The number is necessary for the UK Social Security System. It is sometimes referred to as NINO, NIN or NiNo and looks like this:

LM 07 89 81 B

Your number never changes, it is for your whole life. People born in the UK receive it automatically on their 16th birthday but foreigners coming into the country must apply for it.

The NINo is used to pay National Insurance contributions on the same basis as other people who live and work here. This allows you to access services like the NHS (National Health Service).

Where and how can you get one?

To get a National Insurance Number call Jobcentre Plus on: 0345 600 0643 (opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm). They will ask for your details and send you a letter, invite you for an appointment at the Jobcentre to confirm your identity.

For this appointment you need one of the following:

•        Passport/ ID
•        residence permit
•        birth/adoption certificate
•        marriage/ civil partnership certificate
•        driving licence

To find your nearest Jobcentre Office, enter your full postcode here and it will show the address and telephone number

Here you can find a transcription of National Insurance number call. You can practise it before your call the Jobcentre. Remember, to have a piece of paper and a pen ready when you call. 

What you might hear…

Possible responses…

Welcome to the Department for Work and Pensions.


This is the National Insurance Number allocations service. Your call may be monitored or recorded for legal or training purposes and to help us improve our services.

If you need to apply for a National Insurance number, please press 1.

[Press 1]
Please hold and your call will be answered as soon as possible. ……
We are sorry but all of our customer service agents are busy at the moment. Please hold and we will answer your call as soon as possible. …..
Thank you for waiting. Please continue to hold and we will answer your call as…… …..
Good morning, you are through to Job Centre Plus. You’re speaking to _____ in the (Dundee) contact centre. How can I help you?I am calling because I need a National Insurance number.
Are you living in the United Kingdom now?Yes. I have been here since October 1st//last month/ last week.

[Note: It is important that you say you are living in the UK permanently]
Why do you need a National Insurance number?Because I would like to work in the UK.
Have you applied for a National Insurance number before?¿No.
What’s your nationality?Spanish/ French/ Italian/ Polish
The call can take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. I’ll be with you in a moment. Thank you.OK
Can you give me your surname please?Rodriguez/ Durand/ Bianchi/ Kowalski. Actually I have two surnames. The first one is Rodriguez and the second one is Lopez.
What’s your date of birth?20/09/92. (The 20th of September nineteen ninety two).
And your first name?¿Belen
Could you spell that for me?B – E – L – E – N

B for Bravo, E for Echo, L for Lima, E for Echo and N for November.

[Consider learning the NATO/ICAO phonetic alphabet. This will help you a lot when you are on the phone].
What’s your title?Are your married or single?Miss, I’m not married.
Mrs, I’m married.
Ms [This doesn’t show whether you are or have been married].
What’s your postcode?¿Cuál es su código postal?EH14 9JA
And the house number/address?Flat 2, 14 King Street
Telephone number please?¿07866 676 654 (oh seven eight six six, six seven six, six five four)
I’m just going to update this information. Then I will give you a reference number. Could you have a pen and paper available? I will be with you as soon as I can. Thank you.OK.
This is the reference number: 097249936. Now I’m going to book an appointment for you.Sorry, could you say that again?So that’s 0 – 9 – 7 – 2 – 4 – 9 – 9 – 3 – 6?
Do you have any disabilities or require wheelchair access?Yes/No.
Do you speak good English?
Do you need an interpreter?
Can a family member or friend accompany you to translate for you?
– I think I will understand at the meeting.
– Could I please have an interpreter?- I can bring my friend with me to help.
Now I’ll book an appointment for you.Thank you.
The next available appointment is on 17th of November at 11:35 at Edinburgh City Job Centre.OK.
You will receive a letter with the details of your appointment. Take the letter with you to the appointment.OK.
You will need identification. Can you take your _________ with you?


identity card

birth certificate

driving licence
[You will need one type of photo identification].
You should also take proof of address:

Do you have a contract of employment or letter from her employer?

Do you have a rental agreement or letter confirming residence of where you are staying?

[You will also need proof of residence. For example, if you buy a mobile phone, take the letter from the phone company with you. You can also take your lease (flat contract), a letter from your landlord or a bill (gas, internet, council tax) as proof of address].

Your appointment is at
11-13 South St. Andrew’s Street
All the information about when and where you should go and what you should bring will be on the letter.OK.
Thank you. Have a nice day.Thank you very much. Goodbye.

For more information about the NI, you can visit this Website:

Some interesting vocabulary:

Notice we say “pen and paper” not “paper and pen”. Which way round is it in your language? How about “black and white”?
Proof of address. This is some kind of evidence of where you live, such as an electric or council tax bill.
Appointment. Notice that we are using the word “appointment” in this formal situation. If you are meeting your friend, we don’t use “appointment”. We usually use a verb “I’m meeting my friend at the pub at 8”. If it is romantic, you have a “date”.
Rental agreement. Another word for this is “lease”. To find out all you need to know about renting a room or apartment in Scotland, click here.

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