The British Army is known around the world, so it’s no wonder foreign nationals want to join us. Again, we are delighted to welcome citizens of the Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland to serve in the British Army. Read on to learn more about eligibility criteria, visas, and other topics.
MINIMUM INCOME REQUIREMENTS
The gross annual income required to bring a family to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) is:
- Partner without children – £ 18,600
- One child in addition to partner – £ 22,400
- Two children in addition to partner – £ 24,800
- Three children in addition to partner – £ 27,200
A partner must be either a spouse or registered partner, or a fiancé or proposed life partner. Military service personnel subject to immigration control, even if the service person is a UK national, must enter the UK at Immigration Regulations Appendix Armed Forces on form VAF AF if you want to build a family life. This gives a spouse / domestic partner the opportunity to work in the UK and receive some government benefits which are dependent on compliance with the relevant regulations.
Families entering the country on a visitor visa are not entitled to Service Family Accommodation and must return to their country of origin after the visa has expired.
ENTRY INTO THE UK
Entry under the Armed Forces Appendix to the Armed Forces Immigration Regulations enables the family to settle in the UK by obtaining permanent residence or permanent entry (depending on whether you are applying in or outside the UK). Settlement is a step towards applying for UK citizenship if the family so wishes.
The cost of obtaining a visa, applying for citizenship, or returning home at the end of your service life can be substantial. That’s why we offer a range of savings plans specifically designed for the non-UK national community.
If you have any questions or concerns about immigration or visa issues, you can contact the Army Families Federation (AFF). website. AFF has trained immigration counselors to deal with issues affecting service families.
JOINING THE COMMONWEALTH
The Army is currently offering limited places to Commonwealth applicants. You do not need to be a UK resident.
It is the responsibility of the individual applicant to ensure that they have permission to stay in the UK. This must apply to the entire recruitment and selection process up to recruitment. All applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least two years from your date of entry into the army. You must apply to join the regular (full-time) army. You cannot join the Commonwealth as a reservist (part-time).
Overseas personnel serving in the regular army are exempt from immigration controls while on duty. Overseas personnel serving in the Army Reserve are not exempt from immigration controls.
Families who are not nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) countries are subject to immigration controls and must ensure that they have appropriate immigration status.