Facts About Joining the British Army From a Commonwealth Country

If you have always wanted to join the British army, but you live in a commonwealth country, there is some good news. The UK government passed a regulation that allows foreign nationals to join the military without ever having lived in the UK. This move has been caused by a shortage of close to 9,000 soldiers related to improved employment rates and an ageing population. The government also lifted the limit of only allowing 200 commonwealth citizens to join the army. This is good news and here are more details about the new changes.

Age Requirements

If you want to join the navy but reside in a commonwealth country, you must be at least 18 years old. Also, if you are already living in the UK and have a biometric residency card, you can join even at 16 years. These requirements also apply to Irish and commonwealth applicants who want to join the army. However, any applicant who is a Gurkha must be aged between 18 and 21 years. Applicants who wish to join the navy can apply from 16 years, but they must have been living in the UK for at least five years.

New Recruitment Targets

The government is targeting to recruit 1350 commonwealth citizens, up from the previous cap of 200. The placements will be shared among the three armed services in the following order: 1000 people will go to the army, 300 to the navy, and 50 to the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Visa, Passport and Residency Requirements

You must have a valid passport and a proper visa that enables you to stay in the UK for the recruitment period. For army applicants, you must have a valid visa that will last from the recruitment and selection to the enlistment period. It is the duty of the applicant to reapply for any expired visa, and they must have valid passports for at least two years from the start of military service. RAF applicants can be recruited directly from their countries, but they must have at least three years of residency in the UK to get their security clearance approved.

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