Applicants for National Insurance must apply by phone for a National Insurance number, according to Gov.uk. Phone contact numbers are available in English and Welsh. Only those who have the right to work or study in the United Kingdom may apply for a National Insurance number. U.K. residents typically receive National Insurance numbers automatically before turning 16.
While it's possible to begin a job in the United Kingdom without a National Insurance number, the employee must apply for a number and provide it to his employer as soon as possible, according to Gov.uk.
In some cases, applicants for National Insurance must do an in-person interview at JobcentrePlus to explain why they require a National Insurance number, states Gov.uk. Applicants must provide proof of identity that may include a passport, residence permit, birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, or driver's license.
Anyone who is employed or self-employed in the United Kingdom and who earns above a set amount must pay required contributions for National Insurance; the program's benefits also include the state pension. The amount of contributions due depend on an individual's employment status and how much he earns. Once an applicant is old enough to receive a state pension, he stops paying into the National Insurance program, explains Gov.uk.