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The Home Office is currently rolling out the issuance of National Insurance (NI) numbers for all applicants applying to enter the UK under the Tier 2 General, Minister of Religion or Sportsperson categories. Once an application under these categories has been submitted overseas, this triggers an application to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for an NI number to be issued. This NI number is then included on the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). At least that is what is supposed to happen.
Temporary problems with the issuance of BRPs
Whilst this new process is being rolled out, we have experienced teething problems. Some BRPs have been issued without an NI number and are being recalled by the Home Office so that it can be reissued with one. This of course presents practical difficulties for those Tier 2 migrants who may need to travel or where Sponsors have already submitted an application for an NI number.
Here are a few practical points to bear in mind:
What about employees who are paid overseas and have no NI liability in the UK?
It is often the case that Tier 2 migrants receive their salary from their home country and therefore would not be liable to pay NI in the UK. Whilst this is more common with those migrants entering the UK under the Tier 2 Intra-company transfer category, it may sometimes be the case for Tier 2 General migrants also. This begs the question as to why these migrants are being issued with NI numbers. The Home Office has confirmed that the allocation of an NI number has no impact on NI liability and therefore Sponsors should not be concerned about this new development.
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