To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps EU nationals with settled and pre-settled status need to take to access a National Insurance number; and when procedures will be in place for EU nationals without settled or pre-settled status to access National Insurance numbers.
11 January 2021
When applying for a National Insurance Number (NINo) all applicants are required to have their identity verified. For some applicants whose identity has been verified by another UK Government Department, primarily the Home Office, we are able to offer a postal service. For the remainder, UK and EU/EEA citizens, their ID is verified at a face-to-face appointment.
Due to COVID-19, the face-to-face identity verification appointment process is presently suspended.
The NINo allocation service has continued to offer a service, throughout the pandemic, to our most vulnerable customer groups and students who are entitled to Student Finance. In June 2020, we resumed our postal service for visa applicants.
DWP started testing a partial digital solution on a small scale in mid-October to support the issuing of NINos, which is still ongoing. This solution enables collection of the applicant’s data, but not the online verification of their identity. Alternative identity verification solutions to reduce the need for a face-to-face identity check for some customer groups, including EU nationals with Settled or Pre-Settled status, is under development as part of this test.
The digital solution will be considered by the Government Data Service for its ability to move into Public Beta, and thereby deliver a service to a greater number of customers early next year.
EU nationals without Settled or Pre-Settled status will still be required to attend a face-to-face appointment with DWP for identity verification.