About Northern Ireland

Whether you live, work or are just coming to visit, you'll find lots of useful information on this page about Northern Ireland.

Key facts

Population 1.88 million people (estimated at 30 June 2018)
Capital city Belfast
Nationality and citizenship British, Irish or both
Language(s) English, Irish, Ulster Scots, British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL)
Weather Northern Ireland forecast
Currency Pound sterling (GBP) £
Calling code from abroad dial 00 44 + area code (without 0) + local number
Electricity 240 volts (standard 3-pin plugs)
Airport (s) Belfast International AirportGeorge Best Belfast City AirportCity of Derry Airport
Major sea ports Belfast, Larne

If you want to find out more information about Northern Ireland, you'll find lots of useful and interesting statistics on the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) website.

Public and bank holidays

Bank holidays are holidays when banks and many other businesses are closed for the day. Public Holidays are holidays which have been observed through custom and practice, such as Christmas Day.

Find out about the bank and public holidays in Northern Ireland.

Nationality and citizenship

Northern Ireland is part of the UK. As stated in the Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.

You can find out more about the different types of citizenship at the links below.

Government

There are different levels of government in Northern Ireland. This ranges from the local council, looking after bin collections and leisure centres, the Executive and Assembly who run the government and pass laws, to the European Parliament and UK Parliament at Westminster.

Find out more about government in Northern Ireland.

Coming to Northern Ireland to visit, study or work

If you want to come to Northern Ireland to visit, study or work, you may need to apply for a visa through UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).

You'll find a handy tool on the GOV.UK website, at the link below, to check if you need a visa. You can simply enter the country that issued your passport or travel documents and what you want the visa for, for example work, study or visiting. The checker will tell you if you need a visa and give you information on how to apply. 

You may also find the links below useful.

Visiting Northern Ireland

There are lots of things to see and do in Northern Ireland. You'll find everything here, from natural wonders like the Giant's Causeway, to stunning lakelands in Fermanagh and magnificent sandy beaches along the coastlines. Not to mention the great food, culture and warm welcome that awaits you in the cities and towns.

Visit the Discover Northern Ireland website to find out more.

Get statistical information about your neighbourhood

You can search the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS) using a postcode, street or area to view summary statistics for that area. You can also view statistics by searching for topics or themes, for example, births or census. 

Postcodes

You can find a list of Northern Ireland postcodes at the link below.

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What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.