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Armed Forces: Recruitment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 188918, tabled on 6 November 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to make British Overseas Territories citizens exempt from the five year residency requirement to join the UK armed forces.

Answered on

13 November 2018

British Overseas Territory 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 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 but applications are considered on a case by case basis.