Your friend in London

Overseas Workers

London is a big city with a wide variety of employment and opportunities.

Overseas workers must be allowed to work in the UK and you will need a National Insurance Number and Bank Account.


National Insurance Number

You need to have a National Insurance number to be allowed to work in the UK, you cannot get a job without one.

  • You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.
  • You can only apply once you are in the UK.
  • National Insurance (NI) contributions will automatically be deducted from your pay and will be shown on your pay slip.
  • You need to apply by phone. You may also have an interview to discuss your application. It can take around 2-4 weeks for the process to take place
    National Insurance number application line
    Telephone: 0345 600 0643
    Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

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Bank Account
You will need a bank account for your salary/wages to be paid.

  • Once you have a National Insurance number you can open a bank account.
  • Deciding on the bank to use can depend on the amount of money you have as a deposit, monthly incomings, outgoings, etc. There are comparison websites that can help you decide which is the best bank for you, for example You are probably likely to want an ‘easy access’ account for instant and regular access to your account, but there are other options depending on how often you want to withdraw money.
  • You will need to arrange a meeting with the bank to open your account.
  • Typical documentation needed includes:
    • Proof of identity – for example, a passport
    • Proof of address – for example, a letter from the HMRC with your National Insurance number (see ‘Working in London’ above), a tenancy agreement or a letter from your school
  • It takes approximately 4 weeks to open a bank account

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