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The table below shows the total number of Commonwealth Service Personnel who have left the Regular Armed Forces with at least four years’ service in each of the last 10 calendar years.
Source: Defence Statistics
Under the Home Office’s Appendix Armed Forces immigration rules, four years is the minimum length of Service upon discharge for Commonwealth citizens to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK (more commonly known as settled status). Individuals who choose to return to their country of origin upon discharge and have served for a minimum of four years can submit an application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) the UK within two years of discharge if they meet the Home Office criteria. Separate arrangements exist for those who are medically discharged as a result of their Service and have served less than four years.
Commonwealth citizens can also choose to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen while still serving and can count their Service (including overseas service) towards the Home Office’s five-year UK residency criteria. Naturalisation negates the need to apply for ILR or ILE upon discharge.
UK immigration is a matter for the Home Office, and the Ministry of Defence does not hold information about which former Armed Forces personnel from the Commonwealth have made applications for naturalisation, for ILR or for ILE. Nor does the Ministry of Defence hold information on whether any such application has been successful.