Getting a UK National Insurance Number

Do Irish Citizens need a national insurance number to work in the UK ?

Yes – If you want to work in the UK you must apply for a National Insurance number.
This includes people from Ireland who want to work in Northern Ireland.

A UK National Insurance number is like a personal ID or account number. (Equivalent to the PPS number in Ireland).
(More about the Irish PPS Number Here )

You will need a National Insurance Number (NINO) to work in the UK or to claim any benefits or tax credits or apply for a student loan.


A National Insurance number is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the UK Department of Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

If you are claiming welfare benefits in the UK – your application for a new national insurance number will be made as part of the benefit claim process.

If you are starting work or setting up as self-employed you will need a National Insurance number.

It is not mandatory to have a National Insurance number before starting work in the UK . But , most employers insist on potential employees producing an NI number before giving them a job.


Apply For a National Insurance Number

Applications for a National Insurance number can be made online here

After you apply – you may need to send documents or attend an appointment to prove your identity.

When you have proven your identity, it can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance number.

Temporary National Insurance Numbers

Do not use a temporary National Insurance number. It used to be allowed – but is not anymore. A temporary National Insurance number uses the prefix ‘TN’, the date of birth and M or F to denote gender e.g. TN131160M. These are no longer accepted and must not be used.