Your piece relates primarily to the Non-eu spouse. How exactly does the EU member go about getting the NIN?
humbry wrote:Do you think there is a way of getting the number without having residence papers yet? I currently live in Switzerland but want to look for jobs and eventually accept one. However until I have found this job I prefer to live in switzerland and earn money... just flying to london for interviews etc.
Do you think If I give them a post Office box or a friends address I could get the number?
polskasweetie wrote:This topic hasn't been mentioned in awhile, until a post regarding proof of employment came up in another thread. Let me share with you what I found out regarding how and when you can apply for a National Insurance Number. Information here is from actual information researched primarily and later verified with a phone call to the National Insurance Office. Read on...
I'm a non-EU citizen, arriving here form the USA last mid July 2005. After about 3 weeks (coz that's the only time I was able to finalize whether I can work or not - this is actually another sticky here), I started seeking employment. I registered with a local recruitment agency, then registered at Reed (online), some other websites, and sent some employment applications via company websites and email.
Later on I would get email responses, or actual mail from the companies, saying the usual "Thank you for your recent application to our company...We regret to inform you that your application was not successful at this time...blah blah blah", you know the rest.
It was by accident that another agency I registered with, suggested to me through an email sometime in early August, that I try to get in touch with National Insurance to get a "temporary number". I have not heard of a temp number being issued by the office, but nevertheless, took it upon myself to read online and later on, verify it as they say, "straight from the horse's mouth".
I made the phone call and the information relayed to me was surprising. Prior to this call, all the while I thought one has to be recently employed to even be considered for the number. Boy was I wrong! The National Insurance Number can be applied for if you are:
1) recently been employed, or
2) actively seeking employment
If you're recently employed then, you don't have a problem. All you need to do is call the National Insurance Office and state you want to apply for the number. They will ask you a bunch of questions, mostly demographics, and will tell you to bring with you a letter from your employer stating your employment details. Your HR Manager would know what to write in the letter.
Now, if you are actively seeking employment, here's what you need to do. If you registered with recruitment agencies, go back to them and ask for a letter stating that you registered with them. If you applied by mail to companies and they send you the "regret letter", keep this. If you appied for work online and received the "regret letter" online, print it. Gather at leaast 2 recruitment agency letters, or 2 mailed "regret letters", or at least 4 emailed "regret letters"or a combination of them. It goes without saying that these documentation should be from different companies or recruitment agencies.
Once you have these, and your passport(if non-EU, specially) or National Identity Card (EU citizens) make that phone call for your appointment to the National Insurance Office (which is actually a JobCentre office), where you will be interviewed. The employee there will be filling out the application form on your behalf and will ask you to sign to confirm the information written is correct. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WHAT THE EMPLOYEE WROTE BEFORE SIGNING! I checked mine and found my street name and first name were misspelled. Once you check and everything is okay, sign the form, and they will give you one page of it, kinda like a receipt. That form they give you, keep it. You can show that to a prospective employer as proof that you applied for the number, but NEVER give it out to anyone. That is YOUR property.
Now, after a few days I received a letter in the mail from the National Insurance office, it was actually my number already, although in letter format. No card yet. The card will come after about 4 -6 weeks after you receive that letter, but the number stated in that letter is your actual National Insurance Number already. Be careful with it, and don't readily give it out to anyone except to your employer, prospective employer, or recruitment agency (should they ask for it).
As for me, I'm still waiting for my card, but I already got the letter. Hope this information helps some of you out there. And as one moderator put it, having a National Insurance Number is one sure way for employers to prove your employability in the UK. So, especially for the non-EU citizens like me, you now have your passport with the EEA Family Permit as proof #1 that you can work, and then when you get your NIN, that's proof #2.
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