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When you come to London, and you are ready to work, you need to get an NI – National Insurance Number. This stays with you for the rest of your life, even if you decide to move out of the UK and come back 20 years later. To get an NI number, you need to have the right to work in the UK and you are looking for, starting work or are setting up as self-employed telephone Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Once you phone them, you will receive a time and date for your face to face interview, the location will depend on your current registered address. Usually appointments are given 2-3 weeks ahead of when you call, so make sure that you allow enough time to pass through the whole process. The NI number can be a tough challenge for some, so here are some tips on how to get it right from the first time.

Many people claiming NI numbers do not have jobs or do not speak English, and are trying to get it, just so they are eligible to claim benefits. This made the process a bit tougher than what it used to be before. To get your NI number straight away you need one or all of the following:

– Being a citizen of the EU or EEA (excluding A2 countries, Bulgaria and Romania)

– Having your Blue Card

– Have the right to work in the UK and have an employment contract

If you are a citizen of the EU as explained above, it is your right to go and get your NI number even though you might not have an offer for work.

N.B The A8 countries have just been given the same rights as all EU member states since 1st may 2011:

Under the terms of the Treaty of Accession, the UK cannot apply transitional restrictions on A8 nationals’ access to the labour market for more than 7 years. This means that A8 nationals will be able to access the labour market on the same terms as other EU nationals (except Bulgarians and Romanians) from 1 May 2011. A8 work-seekers will also enjoy the same entitlements to out-of work benefits as other EU nationals.

If you do not fall under any of the above categories and you are a national of Bulgaria and Romania, you need to present your Blue Card, which grants you an NI number. However if you do not have your blue card, and you have a yellow card, you will need to have an employment contract, which shows that you have been hired as a self employed individual.

What do you need to bring to your NI interview:

– passport

– ID card

– blue card/yellow card/visa

– contract for employment

– contact details of your employer

– utility bill

– bank account

Once getting over the interview in the respective job center you will be given a reference number, through which you can check the development of your NI number. If you are approved for one, you will receive a letter stating the number itself. After you receive that you can give it to your employer straight away. Allow between 1-3 months for the actual plastic card to arrive, in case it does not arrive you should call the respective number provided in your letter.

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