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The Home Office has said that while some veterans may want to apply to become British, there is no requirement for those wishing to remain indefinitely in the UK to naturalise as British citizens. Because of a cap on annual recruitment applications from the Commonwealth, only certain Regiments/roles are available. Fines imposed through a summary hearing or courts marshall also result in a non-custodial criminal conviction, If you have a custodial sentence of up to 12 months, you won’t be able to apply until 10 years after your conviction. You should write down all of your trips outside the UK – under ‘reason for trip’ you should write ‘Crown Service’ (unless you went outside the UK for non-Service reasons). 407270, A Guide To Joining The UK Armed Forces From The Commonwealth, Military Spouses Get Savvy With Social Media, Everything You Need To Know About Flexible Working In The Military, Nepal Calls For Review Of Gurkha Recruitment Deal, Government Urged To 'Abolish' Visa Fees For Commonwealth Veterans, Support Worker - Residential/Supported Living Support Staff. There will be a small cost for this service. c. Citizenship for children born overseas (but not on an overseas assignment) to a British parent. One-year passport for soldiers update (2017DIN01-073): On 26 February 2017, Her Majesty’s Passport Office waived the routine requirement for Service personnel in the UK and overseas applying for their first adult British passport to attend an identity interview. NOTE – from 1 December 2013 it no longer matters if the soldier becomes a British citizen prior to the spouse applying for ILR. Should Britain’s serving and former soldiers from Commonwealth countries be granted UK citizenship as a reward for their military service? The Army is currently taking applications for the Infantry, Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corp. What will happen next? Unfortunately as most soldiers don’t need to apply for ILR, this won’t apply. No, in fact this is not advised as your application may not be considered under the Crown Service rules and could be refused. 4. Both the spouse and soldier would need to meet the main requirements, see above. All three services offer a limited number of places and roles with security standards assessed on a case-by-case basis. Children are not naturalised, they are registered as British Citizens but process is essentially the same. The Home Office have confirmed that they “cannot overlook excess absences from spouses of serving Gurkhas because they cannot overlook absences from the soldiers themselves.”. There is also more information about this in Chapter 8 of the Booklet AN. To join the Reserves, you must have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status. You don’t need to take another test. If you are currently on an overseas assignment and the soldier is already British then you  may be able to make an application under the Crown Service rules which do not require you to have been in the UK on the 1st day. Until then all Commonwealth countries, with the exception of the Irish Free State (see Irish nationality law), had a single nationality status: British subject status. Should I apply through a Nationality Checking Service? Registered in England No. I welcome the fact that Commonwealth citizens, including Gurkhas, are exempt from immigration control under the Immigration Act 1971, throughout their service. Passports must be valid for a minimum of two years from the start date of military service. Joining the British Army as a Commonwealth citizen It is many's dream to join the prestigious British Army. British Army Jobs: It is very easy for Commonwealth citizens to join the British Army. It is now necessary to apply online for citizenship if you are in the UK. English Language and Life in the UK test centres overseas. Will I Get UK Residency/Citizenship When I Leave The Armed Forces? Those with sole custodial responsibility for children do not have to meet the minimum income threshold. See section 4 for an explanation of what information the following types of … 5. The test costs 204 Euros. Citizenship is considered to be a personal choice and is not a requirement of Service. To request your documents to be returned: www.gov.uk/visa-documents-returned, Katherine HoulstonForeign & Commonwealth Specialist, Sarah DrapperForeign & Commonwealth Assistant, “AFF - just a thank you for all that you do! Some recognised test qualifications only last for 2 years. Do I Need To Be A UK Resident Or Be In The UK To Enlist? Soldier must have been recruited in UK (Crown Service not available to spouses of Gurkhas who have transferred to the wider Army*). Read the ‘Main requirements’ section above carefully. Do I have to go to a nationality checking service in the UK to apply? However you can still use a B1 level qualification that’s run out if you’re applying for citizenship and it was accepted when you applied to settle in the UK. Non-custodial convictions include court-imposed fines for drink-driving and speeding, as well as fines for assault, battery etc. 2 options (for all information, click here). Overseas applicants need to be 18 or over to join, or 16 if already living in the UK and have a biometric residency card. The number of applications from Commonwealth recruits was raised to 1350 per year (to be implemented over several years) following a previous cap of 200. Please note:  The process for dependants is being reviewed and an update will be provided as soon as possible. Gurkhas remain Nepali citizens whilst they serve in the Brigade of Gurkhas. You are advised to write on the application form (part 6) which country you wish to take your biometrics in. Can I still apply for Crown Service even if I have a valid visa? However it may apply to some spouses who had to have a B1 qualification to apply for ILR. For all information about how to apply click here. If i do need to apply for Citizenship then are there any concessions or fast track options for serving military? By using this site, you are accepting our Cookie Policy. Our website uses cookies. MPs have demanded that the Home Office abolish visa fees for Commonwealth soldiers who have served in the British armed forces but can end up paying almost £10,000 for a … All roles are available to Commonwealth applicants. You should put your home address not your BFPO address on the form. How to join the Armed Forces from the Commonwealth - all the rules and regulations. The residency requirements for joining the armed forces are generally in line with the Home Office rules for attaining British citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1981. You can demonstrate your knowledge of language and life in the UK by: For more information about this requirement click here. You should read the children guidance below. If you have discretionary leave as a result of making an incorrect application for ILR after your soldier sponsor became a British Citizen, then you may be eligible to apply for ILR without having to wait for your visa to expire and without having to apply for a further grant of discretionary leave. This can delay the process by week. We are not aware of a discretion for soldiers. The first and most important point to note is that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is separate from the British Nationality Act 1981 and therefore even if a criminal offence has been ‘spent’ under the terms of the ROA it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is spent for the purposes of an application for citizenship. Soldiers overseas can make normal applications for Citizenship, you are not required to complete the Crown Service section of the form. It also does not apply if you were out of the UK on a non-work related trip. If however one parent is British then the child will be born British and will have full British Citizenship. They offer the IELTS exam in Dusseldorf 2-3 times a month. If you are due a posting and have not had your passport returned to you, you must inform your unit who should raise the issue to HQ BFG. The British Council in Cyprus offers the IELTS exam once or twice a month. Company Limited by Guarantee. In both cases, you need to have ILR first. If you don’t, you will be sent a letter after you have applied for citizenship asking you to go and enrol your biometrics details at a local post office. Applicants must have permission to be in the UK for the duration of the selection and recruitment process up until the point of enlistment. Do I have to take the Life in UK test to apply for Citizenship? This will tell you the type of role you can apply for (or if you can’t join). Where can I take the B1 English language test in the UK? Although you can count all time spent overseas AFTER the first day as residence in the UK, you need to have been in the UK on this first date. However it is no longer cheaper to make a joint application so it may be less risky to wait until the soldier becomes a British Citizen and then apply under the Crown Service rules if you are still overseas. Citizenship for children born in the UK, b. I welcome the fact that Commonwealth citizens serving in Her Majesty's Forces, including Gurkhas, are exempt from immigration control under the Immigration Act 1971, throughout their service. Commonwealth spouses Although the MoD can recruit commonwealth citizens without the five-year residency requirement, the residency requirements for security clearance will still apply. d. Citizenship for children born outside the UK whilst the soldier was/is on an overseas assignment. Contact the F&C team if you will be making an application within this section. It is recommended that you contact the F&C Team for a covering letter to go with the application. 233480. Custodial convictions include time spend at MCTC, You should declare ALL convictions even if they are now ‘spent’. If you’re a Commonwealth citizen You may be eligible to apply for citizenship under the Windrush Scheme if both: you or one of your parents arrived in the UK before 1973 Children under the age of six do not need to provide fingerprints, but must have a digital photo taken of their face. Unfortunately Lebanon is not part of the Commonwealth. Registrations for the Life in the UK Test are booked online and it still costs £50.00. Settled status is only broken following a long period outside of the UK (2 years). Other reasons for refusing based on ‘good character’ include ‘financial soundness’ (e.g. £9.21 Per Hour + This role is shift work, full UK licence is desired not essential, Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy, BFBS, Chalfont Grove, Narcot Lane, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9 8TN However, this does not apply to spouses of Gurkha soldiers. If the naturalisation application is successful, you will receive two letters; one from the Home Office confirming the application success which should come in the pre-paid envelope with all of your documents and one from your nearest consulate or High Commission which should come to your home address. You would need to complete two application forms. It is also advisable to send the following document in with the application, Your child will not be eligible for a British Passport until they have been registered as a British Citizen. Certificate of registration or naturalization and certificate of registration as a British citizen. It is easier to apply whilst you are serving, as long as you have served for at least four years. It is not advisable to use a post office checking service as they will probably tell you your child is not eligible. Children born after 13 Jan 2010: Children in these circumstances are eligible to be registered as a British Citizen under section 1(3A) of the British Nationality Act. Dear Constituent, Thank you for contacting me about Commonwealth soldiers and citizenship fees. Commonwealth citizenship was a creation that arose from the end of the British Empire.Before 1949, all citizens of the British Empire were British subjects and owed allegiance to the Crown. This information is clearly written in the UKVI guidance on  p38 at this link. All children of F&C personnel born outside the UK while their parent is on assignment are required to apply for a passport for them as soon as possible after the birth. Please note: the child’s mother does not have to have been accompanying the soldier on the overseas assignment in order to be eligible to register. Their status as foreign nationals within the armed forces means that they embody a stark contradiction between the soldier as hero and the migrant as unwanted scrounger. You should read the guidance in the booklet carefully. registered as a British citizen either because they have an entitlement or at the discretion of the Home Secretary. Once you’ve done this, we have a fantastic book on how to join the RAF. Soldiers from commonwealth countries can apply for indefinite leave to remain, but it will cost us around two thousand pounds. You should also send in the birth certificate and a copy of the soldiers passport. In 2016, the Government lifted the five-year UK residency requirement previously required for members of the Commonwealth applying to join the British Armed Forces. The British Council in Dusseldorf is the only accepted place to take the IELTS exam in Germany. This applies to all F&C and Gurkha soldiers. Visit the army’s website - see the link at the end of this page and then click on the careers and then the application form. Yes! Do I have to take an English language test? Soldiers: As from 13th May 2014 there is now discretion within the British Nationality Act 1981 to overlook the requirement to have been in the UK on the first day of the 5 year qualifying period for a 6(1) application, if the applicant is or has been a member of the Armed Forces. Click here to go straight to the form. All children of F&C personnel born outside the UK while their parent was/is on assignment are eligible to apply to be registered as British Citizens. The individual is responsible for all fees and charges associated with these applications. You'll be given 'exempt immigration control' status while you're serving. e. Citizenship for children born outside the UK, but not during an overseas assignment: For a list of criteria that are used to assess such applications, read page 16 of the Guide MN1. Due to high numbers of applicants the Brigade of Gurkhas’ age limit is stricter and on January 1 of the recruiting year, applicants must be between 18-21, giving a window of three years and one day to join the British Army. You should get a certified copy of your passport to send in with the application. 8. being an overstayer within the previous 10 years). Normal applications: ILR for 12 months; Five years’ resident in UK; See ‘Main Requirements’ above; Spouse of British citizen soldier: ILR; Three years’ … You must hold a valid passport and enough time on your visa to see you through the application process. For further information refer to 2015DIN01-130 ‘Family Migration Rules for UK Armed Forces family members who are Non-British’. UKBA have informed us that spouses can use certified copies but every page of the passport will need to be certified. Spouses – still need to meet this requirement. The places are shared between the three services with 1000, 300, 50 allocated to the Army, Navy and RAF respectively. Can Asylum Seekers Or Refugees Join The British Armed Forces? You should contact the AFF F&C team on [email protected] You will need to send us a copy of your refusal letter. British Army Recruitment for Commonwealth Countries 2021/2022; The British army is recruiting citizens of Commonwealth countries between the ages of 18 to 32. You should read the eligibility requirements below. So, if you’re a Commonwealth citizen and would like to join the British Army, there’s never been a better time to apply. In April, a National Audit Office report said the full-time military was running at a 5.7% shortfall . Any child born legitimately in the UK to a parent who is in the Armed Forces (including Reserves subject to Service law by virtue of s.367(2)(a)-(c) of the 2006 Armed Forces act) is automatically a British Citizen. Although the guidance allows for children to be registered if both parents are settled in the UK (regardless of the status of the child), the Nationality Department have said that this isn’t an automatic route and each case is assessed on its merits. We must grant Commonwealth soldiers and their families the right to full British citizenship - Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy | Veterans Aid 4 min read 08 May 2019 Partner content You need to use your nearest IELTS examination centre. Spouses in the UK can only apply if they have ILR. In both cases, you need to have ILR first. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. This is not a letter of support, merely a letter confirming facts. No. Click here for the current fees. Yes, all applicants over 6 years of age are required to have both fingerprints and digital photos taken. Unfortunately, if you are the spouse of a Gurkha soldier you are disadvantaged because you are not eligible to count your time spent out of the UK as residence in the UK. Soldiers can do this through their unit. While serving, Gurkhas and Commonwealth citizens are given ‘exempt immigration control’ status and receive a (free) immigration passport stamp. If you already have a BRP, this must be sent in with the application. Britain’s Armed Forces have been working to step up their long-held global links by increasing the number of recruits from Commonwealth countries. As of 1 April 2015 children born to non-British parents serving on an overseas assignment can be registered as British at public expense. Irish citizens must be living in the UK to join the Reserves. It is much easier to apply for this while serving. Charity Registered in England No. DEdCap have informed us that SLC cannot be used for exams or a course. Those from inside the Commonwealth will not need British citizenship to apply. KEY POINT: Make sure you are not due posting within the next six months. No. You’ll then need to apply online here, which will get you started on your Army journey either as a Regular full-time Soldier or as a Part-time Reservist (: Nationalities from all the Commonwealth countries can apply to join the British Army. All time spent serving overseas is counted as residence in the UK (except the first day of the five year period for spouses, see above). Have ILR for 12 months or an exempt stamp, You do not need to meet the KoLL requirement, Only available if you have evidence of no other nationality, No residential requirement or requirement to have ILR. Commonwealth Soldiers and Citizenship Fees. Unfortunately as part of the new pricing structure introduced on 6th April 2014, the Home Office has removed the price reduction which was previously given for joint adult applications. There are two ways to become a British citizen if you are married to a soldier. 12   I am an EEA national married to a British soldier, can I apply for Citizenship? A couple of spouses have tried this and have been left stuck in the UK for three months whilst waiting for their passports to be issued. The soldier’s nationality will no longer affect a spouse visa application. Military service counts towards residency requirements and Gurkhas/Commonwealth service personnel wanting to stay in the UK after leaving the Military will need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)/Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) within two years of leaving and would need to have served a minimum of four years. For further information refer to 20150408 DIN ‘Family Migration Rules for UK Armed Forces family members who are Non-British’. If you receive a letter asking your to have your biometrics taken in a different country then you should email [email protected] stating your name, date of birth and reference number, country and city of application. Citizenship for children born outside the UK whilst the soldier is on an overseas assignment: All Service personnel and members of the civilian component and their dependants, regardless of their nationality, who are required to travel on official duty to, or are assigned to, a country that requires a valid passport, are to be provided with one at public expense. If your child was born overseas before 13th January 2010 you need to write ‘section 3(1) in question 1.1. of Form MN1. This would depend on where the child was born and if the child’s mother has ILR or not, it also may depend on the age of the child and how long they have been in the UK. There is no requirement to wait for 12 months prior to applying. How much does an application cost? In fact Commonwealth soldiers serving in the British armed forces have a … Thank you for contacting me about Commonwealth soldiers and citizenship fees. The qualifying period starts 3 years before your application is received by UK. This costs 220 Euros. Only qualifications on the UKVI SELT (Secure English Language Tests) list taken at an approved centre will be accepted, see below. The Commonwealth Heads of Government decided in 1948 to embark on a major change in the law of nationality throughout the Commonwealth, following Canada's decision to enact its own citizenship law in 1946. Details must be correct and match EXACTLY to the personal details on the candidates’ passport. Once they have ILR, they can apply for Citizenship immediately if they meet the other main requirements. For Irish and Commonwealth applicants, the age requirements are the same as British personnel. AFF has recently assisted with a successful joint application, so it seems that this is a possible route if all main requirements are met. Gurkhas seeking British citizenship may do so either by transferring to the wider Army after five years’ Service, or after discharge by initially applying for settlement and then naturalisation. Gurkhas are not included in the above policy as they remain Nepalese citizens whilst serving with the Brigade. This means that spouses of Gurkhas who have transferred to the wider Army are not able to apply. People with settled status can apply for a “no-time limit” biometric residence permit (BRP) which proves you have settled status here. British Army Recruitment Form and Guide. Applications take on average between four to six months to process. Refer to the guidance on our Brexit page. You should be sent a letter with the nearest locations. That’s why I’m calling for the fees to be waived for commonwealth soldiers who serve in the British … You will need to include a letter from the unit to confirm that the soldier was serving overseas at the time of birth, the date and place of birth of the child and the date and place of recruitment of the soldier. If your visa expires, then you are responsible for any costs involved with leaving the country and applying for a new visa during the process. At the moment this is not a sum that we can afford, and this is true for many other families too. However, AFF is currently looking into this issue. See our privacy policy at aff.org.uk/privacy-policy. Click here for information on how to contact UKVI regarding Citizenship applications. IMPORTANT – from 5th November 2015 you won’t be able to use ESOL qualifications as proof that you meet the KoLL requirement. However, how do members of the Commonwealth go about applying to serve in the UK Armed Forces? This is a personal choice, often it is not required for an application from a soldier because you do not have to meet the same residency requirements, so applications are more straightforward. Army Families Federation is a charitable incorporated organisation registered in England and Wales with registered charity number 1176393 and a charity registered in Scotland with registered charity number SC048282 having its principal office at IDL 414, Floor 1, Zone 6, Ramillies Building, Marlborough Lines, Monxton Road, Andover SP11 8HJ, You will need to send us a copy of your refusal letter, Get the latest news you need to know. Under the new policy, Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 will be able to apply for all roles and ranks. HM Forces commonwealth soldier. So for example, if your application is received by UKVI on 1st December 2015, they will count the start of the 3 year qualifying period as the 2nd December 2012 and will look to see if you were in the UK then. Between the ages of 16 and 32, soldiers are accepted by the British Army and for Commonwealth applicants, medicals must be passed before applications will be accepted. Letter from Unit to confirm you are accompanying the soldier on an overseas assignment. See below for further information. !”, “Thank you so much Army Families Federation!”. The qualifying period starts 5 years before your application is received by UK. The passport grants you the same rights as a full passport. They do not recommend people bypassing the ILR route to save money as there is always a risk of refusal, Parents with sole responsibility can apply once they are British themselves, Most applications will be considered under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act and registration will be at UKVIs discretion. If your child was born overseas after 13th January 2010 you need to write ‘section 4D’ form in question 1.1 of Form MN1. Where can I take the English language test on an overseas assignment? There are two ways to become a British citizen if you are married to a soldier. You will need to contact the consulate to arrange a time to attend the citizenship ceremony; this must be done within 90 days of receiving the letter. People able to establish their settled status may also be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. You will not be able to attend an interview at your nearest consulate; this service is not available to military personnel or their partners. UKVI will not usually return your documents until a decision has been made on your application. Your time out of the UK on overseas assignments if you are a commonwealth spouse will count as residence. IMPORTANT – Your child will not be eligible for a British Passport until they have been registered as a British Citizen. Lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application, Spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years, Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months. Will this cover the new B1 English Language requirement? If you are applying as the spouse of a British Citizen you must have been in the UK at the start of the 3 year residential requirement. Time spent outside the UK but not on overseas assignment does not count as residence. Once your soldier has transferred to the wider Army, you would be able to count your absences as residence in the UK. It is also advised that you contact the F&C team for a supporting letter to send off with the applications. 03   Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for Citizenship applications. If a child is born in the home country of the parents and one of the parents is a British Citizen at the time of the birth, the child will be born British. One parent should be a British citizen and the other should be settled or a British citizen; **where the British citizen parent is the spouse, it is not necessary for the soldier to also be a British citizen as the exempt stamp acts as ILR, The child should have ILR. Where a child included on an application has an automatic claim to British citizenship ... applying that they want to acquire British citizenship. Applying online – how to complete the form. If successful, their spouses can apply for citizenship, which can take a further two years. There is also a limit on amount of annual applications for the Brigade of Gurkhas. A Commonwealth soldier who served for 13 years in the Army has been refused British citizenship. Irish citizens are part of the EU and can travel/reside freely. As of November 2018, the British Army has opened its doors to Commonwealth citizens who wish to join. Can I make a joint application with my family? Read the ‘Main requirements’ section above. a. Due to high numbers of applicants the Brigade of Gurkhas’ age limit is stricter and on January 1 of the recruiting year, applicants must be between 18-21, giving a window of three years and one day to … Therefore, you would need to apply for British citizenship prior to applying. This depends on your nationality and whether you already have a degree taught in English. The exam has 9 levels but you only need to pass at level 4 to meet the B1 requirement. Spouse applications under Crown Service rules: *Spouses of ex-Gurkhas – Only spouses of soldiers who were enlisted in the UK are eligible to apply using the Crown Service rules. Information about this can be found on page 6 of the guide MN1. I already have a certificate in literacy level 1 or 2. For Irish and Commonwealth applicants, the age requirements are the same as British personnel. Both applicants need to meet a minimum of six-month employment requirement. They are not eligible for a British Passport until they have been registered. Join the Army as a Commonwealth Citizen. Every test thereafter will cost £50.00. Yes. Can I send in certified copies of my passport? Unfortunately we have been informed that although UKBA agree this is an unfair rule, to change this will mean a change in primary legislation which realistically is not going to happen when this affects a relatively small number of people. The MOD only funds teaching/courses which if of benefit to Service. You are now likely to be refused Citizenship if you have overstayed at some point in the 10 years prior to an application for Citizenship. Commonwealth applicants and Irish personnel must be in/reside in the UK in order to enlist. A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen ... do I need to apply for British citizenship? WHEN YOU JOIN. 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