In the UK everyone who works and earns money above a certain amount must pay National Insurance. These contributions are taken from your wages before you are paid. The amount you can earn before paying National Insurance changes every year. Take a look at the UK Government website to find out more.
How to apply for a National Insurance Number (NINO)
It is your responsibility, not your employer's, to apply for a National Insurance Number. Apply for this as soon as you can as you often need to be able to write your National Insurance Number on job application forms.
The easiest way to apply is online. Go to the gov.uk/apply website and press the green ‘apply’ button at the bottom of the page.
Alternatively, you can call the National Insurance Application helpline also listed on the webpage above. Telephone: 0800 141 2079; Textphone: 0800 141 2438.
You may be asked to provide certain information about your passport and visa, address, university and course of study. You will then be asked to complete an application form. If you give the required information then your National Insurance Number (NINO) will be sent to you. Keep the number very safe when you get it.
Income tax is a tax you pay on your income. It will normally be automatically deducted from your wages. This tax goes to a government department known as HM Revenue and Customs.
Students who work during term-time, as well as vacation time, will have tax deducted from their wages. However, if you earn less than the personal allowance during the tax year (the tax year starts on 6 April and ends the following 5 April) you will be able to claim back any tax you might have paid. If you are an international student, take a look at the tax on foreign income page and scroll down to ‘if you work in the UK’.
When you stop working, your employer should give you a P45 which tells you how much you have earned, along with the total amount of National Insurance (NI) and tax payments taken during the current tax year. The P45 should be given to any new employer that you start working for.
For full and detailed information about Tax and National Insurance Numbers, visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.
For detail on job opportunities, check out our International Students page.