International Students: National Insurance Number

Income Tax and National Insurance contributions

If you start work in the UK you will need to check whether you are liable to pay tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) as it is illegal to avoid these.

Income Tax

For information on paying income tax, consult:

The HM Revenue and Customs website, Student Section

The Low Income Tax Reform Group

The HM Revenue and Customs website


National Insurance

Information regarding any liability for National Insurance contributions can be obtained from your local Benefits Office when you know where you will be living.

If you do decide to find employment you will need to obtain a National Insurance (NI) number.

If you do not have a National Insurance number you must apply for one as soon as you begin looking for work.

Students living in the Greenwich area must phone 0845 6000643 for an appointment. NI numbers cannot be obtained any other way except by attending an interview.

Students living in areas other than Greenwich can search using the link below to find the telephone number of their local Social Security office and then contact them to make an appointment.

When you make your appointment you will be asked to produce some of the following documents:

General documents

  • Passport
  • National Identity card
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • Full driving licence
  • Home Office documents
  • Two or more passports if you are of dual- or multi-nationality
  • Student-loan documents
  • Student identity card
  • Letter from your college, including course details
  • Mortgage or rental agreement
  • Residence or naturalisation documents
  • Adoption certificate

Employment documents

  • Payslips
  • A work permit
  • A letter from your employer
  • Your contract of employment
  • Details of any employment agencies you are registered with.
  • Evidence that you are actively looking for work
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association
  • Services contract

Please remember the documents that you take with you must be originals and not photocopies.

Further information

For more information on National Insurance and NI numbers, contact the Department of Work and Pensions.

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