Want to travel the UK but without the expense of a visa? Saffas can now join the British army, but space is limited

2018-11-16 09:30 - JP Breytenbach
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The British Minister of Armed Forces announced earlier in November 2018 that citizens from the Commonwealth countries will now be able to more easily join the British Armed Forces! As South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth, this is, of course, good news for many young South Africans looking for such job opportunities.

In 2013, the British Armed Forces changed their rules, and it was only possible for a Commonwealth citizen to join the British Armed Forces if the person held residency in the UK. Residency can only be acquired after spending five years in the UK, on a visa leading to permanent residence, such as the Ancestral route.

Now, a South African can apply to join the British Armed Forces, without any visa rules imposed on him or here. 

READ: British High Commissioner to SA visits a police station six times a year due to SA’s 'off-putting' visa rules for children

Commonwealth Countries

Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia. 

The British Minister of Armed Forces made specific reference in his announcement to South Africa and said that the UK Armed Forces had more than 7,500 Commonwealth citizens in its ranks, with many from Fiji, South Africa, and Australia.

READ: Good news for South Africans looking to live and work in the UK with ruling on skills vs nationality based immigration

How the recruitment process will work?

Henceforth, the application for the British Armed Forces for all ranks and roles will be open to Commonwealth citizens, from the age of 18 years and up.

The number of recruits from the Commonwealth will be increased to 1 350 per year. The British Army will hire about 1 000 personnel per year. The Royal Navy will hire about 300 persons per year, and the Royal Air Forces about 50 persons per year.

The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Forces have already started with their recruitment process. The British Army will only open their recruitment process in January 2019.

British Citizenship and Family joining

The good news for South Africans, who are successful in joining the British Armed Forces, is that they will eventually be able to obtain permanent residence that leads to British citizenship. Dependants, which include spouses, partners, and dependent children will also be able to join them in the UK.

Persons interested in joining the British Army, or who need more information, can apply directly from the British Armed Forces website here.

For more information on how your spouse, partner, children, and other dependants can join you, please feel free to contact Breytenbachs.