Careers Service

What is National insurance - NI?

Like most people who work within the UK, at some stage you will probably need to pay tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions, even if you are not a UK citizen. The exact amounts depend upon your earnings.

You need a NI number if you are working.

UK citizens are issued an NI number at age 16.

International students who are looking for paid work in the UK will need to apply for an NI number.

You can start working without a number, but you should apply for one as soon as possible to make sure you don't pay too much tax.

You may be required to attend an appointment at your local Jobcentre Plus. The nearest office for most students is:
Rusholme Jobcentre Plus, 96 Wilmslow Road, Manchester.

Due to the volume of applicants, it often takes time to receive a NI number. In the meantime, your employer may be able to create a temporary number for you. You must, however, remember to give them your proper number when you receive it. If you continue to use a temporary number, you will pay more tax than you should!

Tax - how much do I pay?

Students are not automatically exempt from paying tax and NI. You can earn a certain amount each year without paying tax this is your Personal Allowance.