Armed Forces: Recruitment

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 13th November 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his news release of 5 November Armed Forces to step up Commonwealth recruitment, whether the lifting of the five-year residency in the UK requirement for applicants who wish to serve in the armed forces will apply also to citizens of UK Overseas Territories.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) have never been subject to the five year UK residency criteria which has been removed for citizens of Commonwealth member countries. BOTC have one of six types of British nationality which already makes them eligible to apply to join the British Armed Forces, and they serve as part of the British cohort. As at 1 April 2018 there were 130 BOTC serving in the Regular trained strength of the British Armed Forces.

However, for security reasons the Armed Forces continue to have UK residency criteria to ensure the appropriate security standards which all applicants are required to meet. This will vary depending on the Service and role being applied for and applications are considered on a case by case basis.


· Nationality is as reported on the Joint Personnel Administration system

· Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

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