How To Apply For A National Insurance Number As A Nigerian In The UK.
If you're planning to relocate to the UK from Nigeria for work purposes, a UK National Insurance Number (NIN) is a must-have for you after arriving there. This guide breaks down what a NIN is, what it does, and how to apply for one.
What Is A NIN?
In the UK, the NIN is a unique identification code composed of letters and numbers; this combination is always two letters, six numbers and then another letter, e.g, AB 12 34 56 C. The NIN is assigned to every resident who:
Has the right to work in the UK.
Is working, looking for work or has an offer to start work in the UK.
What Does The NIN Do?
The government uses the NIN to keep track of your contributions to National Insurance, which is a tax on earnings that qualifies you for social benefits such as maternity allowance, jobseeker's allowance, state pension etc.
It is mandatory to contribute to the National Insurance if you are over 16 and either:
Earn more than £242 weekly as an employee or,
Make more than £6,725 in yearly profit running a self-employed business.
Note: We last checked the source for the stated figures on 17-11-2022. For up-to-date figures when you are reading this piece, check here.
How To Apply For Your NIN.
The application process for a NIN is relatively straightforward and can be done online. You'll need to have the following documents at hand when starting your application:
Your international passport.
Your Biometric Residence Permit.
Also, you'll be required to prove your identity by uploading a picture of you holding your passport and other identity documents. To start the process, tap the button below.
After completing your application, you should get feedback regarding the status of your application within four weeks.
Tip: We strongly recommend avoiding third-party companies who promise to help speed up the timeline for getting your NIN for a fee. Applying for a NIN is free, and we advise you do it yourself.
Can I start work without a NIN?
Yes, you can begin a job without having received your NIN if you have proof of your right to work in the UK, e.g. your biometric residence permit (BRP), but getting one is mandatory in the long run.
Does the NIN change?
No. The NIN is issued for life.
How Do I Pay My National Insurance?
The exact amount you have to pay depends on how much you earn. If you are an employee, you'll be paying a Class 1 National Insurance contribution, which will be automatically deducted from your weekly or monthly wages by your employer.
Tip: Always ensure you collect your pay slips and a P60 from your employer to verify that your national insurance contribution has been paid against your name.
If you're self-employed, you'll be paying either a Class 2 or Class 4 National Insurance contribution depending on your profit. Paying your contribution in this category is usually done through self-assessment.
Is National Insurance The Same As Income Tax?
No! Your national insurance contribution is separate from your income tax.
As the name implies, income tax is a tax on all income sources (your salary, interest on savings, benefits on your job etc.) by the UK government, which is used to fund public services and projects, e.g. the National Health System, public education, rail projects etc. while National Insurance is a tax on your earnings only, and it's mostly used to fund social benefits.
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