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Important documents

National insurance number, passport, driving licence

Your social worker will help you to apply for your *National Insurance number as soon as you are old enough. You should have this before your 16th birthday. Achieving for Children will help you to ensure you have photographic identification, which you will need to access services. We will support you with either your passport or provisional driving license. If you are an unaccompanied minor and no decision from home office regarding your asylum has been made yet, you cannot apply for a National Insurance Number.

*What is a National Insurance number?

Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. It is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It also acts as a reference number for the whole social security system. Every National Insurance number is different. It's made up of letters and numbers like this: QQ 12 34 56 A.

Who pays National Insurance?

You pay National Insurance contributions if you're an employee and you're aged 16 and over, as long as your earnings are more than a certain level. Your National Insurance number

Birth certificate, British citizenship

The Leaving Care Team has facilities to securely store your birth certificate if you’d like us to keep if safe for you. If you don’t have one we can support you to get a birth certificate, if you were born in the UK.

If you don’t have citizenship in the UK. you can speak to your social worker or personal advisor about what support you can get to apply for *Naturalisation. This is a long and complicated process and you will usually need to speak to an immigration solicitor.

*Naturalisation is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country.