You pay National Insurance along with your tax. Your employer will take it from your wages before you get paid. Your payslip will show your contributions.

You pay mandatory National Insurance if you’re 16 or over and are either:

  • an employee earning above £184 a week
  • self-employed and making a profit of £6,515 or more a year

You need a National Insurance number before you can start paying National Insurance contributions.


You can apply for a National Insurance number if you live in the UK and have the right to work in the UK.You must also be looking for work or have an offer to start work in the UK. If you have already started working you can still apply.

If you have a biometric residence permit (BRP), you might have a National Insurance number already – it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do. If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one if you plan to work. You can only apply when you’re in the UK.

You need to prove your identity in order to get a National Insurance number. If you have any of the following documents, you can use them when you apply:

  • a passport from any country
  • a biometric residence permit (BRP)

You can still apply if you do not have any of these documents but you may need to attend an appointment to prove your identity.

Click here to apply

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