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Careers / Joining options
Commonwealth and Non-british
Careers / Joining options

Commonwealth and Non-british

A limited number of recruits can be taken from the Commonwealth every year. This means that, throughout the year, different branches may be closed to all potential candidates. If you’re interested in joining then please start an application and it will be responded to appropriately.

Happy St Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Day to those Commonwealth members embarked in HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Managing expectations

To manage expectations of those showing an interest in joining the Service, and to allow individuals the ability to confidently plan their lives, a ceiling has been placed on the number of candidates we maintain on record awaiting processing. With such a cap on Commonwealth entrants, it is simply not possible to process every applicant to successful entry into the Service; that said, vacancies do exist within certain branches and your Expression of Interest will be responded to by e-mail accordingly.

Should your preferred role be temporarily full, and you remain interested in joining the Royal Navy, there may be other rewarding jobs waiting for you. To find out if there are, please consider our other eligible roles. Those enquiries placed on hold will have their contact details and date of application captured in our records, and we will be in touch when we are in a position to move your application forward. Visit our Overseas Guide for further details on joining.


Please make sure you read and understand the following requirements before submitting any application

Commonwealth applicants applying from inside their country of origin must be aged minimum 18. Residents in the UK who are Commonwealth applicants are eligible to apply at 16. Current valid passports and visas (where applicable) are a mandatory requirement to be eligible to apply, It is the responsibility of the individual applicants to ensure that they have permission to be in the UK and this permission is valid for the entirety of the recruitment process up to the point of entry. 

No candidate from outside the UK should travel to the UK, unless directed to by the Overseas Team, in order to conduct essential elements of the recruiting process prior to being assessed as eligible to join the Royal Navy or Royal Marines. Any person who travels to the UK without this direction will not be the responsibility of, or supported by, the Ministry of Defence.

Bringing your family

Once you are a serving member of the Royal Navy, you are exempt from immigration controls.That means you won’t need a visa to stay in the UK as long as you remain in service. This is the case from the day you start training.

Normal immigration rules will still apply to your family, so they could need a visa to visit the UK and may only be able to stay for a limited period of time. It's also important that your family meet the minimum English language requirements.

Minimum income requirements

If you want to bring your family to the UK, you’ll need to meet minimum income requirements, which vary based on your family circumstances.

  • £18,600 gross salary needed to bring a partner
  • £22,400 to bring a partner and a child
  • +£2,400 for each additional child £16,000 savings over this amount can count
  • £18,489 a rating starting salary after training
Visa costs

Once you meet the minimum income requirements, you will need to pay the appropriate visa costs. These include:

  • £1,532 per dependent for a five-year visa
  • £2,389 per dependent to permanently settle in the UK (2018/19) after five years of residency
  • £1,330 per dependent to gain UK citizenship by naturalisation (2018/19) after 12 months of holding permanent settlement

The Royal Navy cannot help you with any of these visa costs. Remember, choosing to settle permanently in the UK is entirely voluntary and is not a requirement.

Available roles

We have limited roles for Commonwealth applicants available in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines
Pictured here is Commonwealth Members onboard HMS Prince of Wales during the Commissioning of HMS Prince of Wales held on the 10th December 2019.

Royal Navy

Start a world-class career in anything from catering to hospitality, and from medicine to engineering.
view royal navy roles
Pictured are Commando Forces yomping on snow shoes and carrying their skis on the extraction from the training area during their Cold Weather Winter Warfare Course near Skjold.

Royal Marines

Become an elite amphibious commando in one of the world’s most respected fighting forces.
view royal marines roles

What countries and territories are accepted as Commonwealth?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (United Kingdom (UK) or Britain), which includes England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and most of the smaller islands within the British Isles.

It also includes the British Overseas Territories of: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus.

Australia, including the Australian External Territories: Australian Antarctic Territory (including MacDonald, Heard and Macquarie Islands), Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.

New Zealand and its Colonies and Dependencies: Niue, Ross Dependency, Tokelau Islands Group, and the Associated State the Cook Islands. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

During the recruitment process the Royal Navy will not provide you with accommodation whilst you‘re in the UK. You’ll need to have family or a sponsor willing to support you while you are here.

No, you will need to pay for all travel to and from the UK.

The Royal Navy will not pay your travel expenses to the AFCO, they will only pay travel expenses for courses you have to attend if you are successful in the recruitment process.

No. And all dual nationals must provide an official letter which states they have no obligation for service in their country of origin. Your duty to do national service will not go away if you join the Royal Navy.
Yes. All candidates will need to receive security clearance before they are able to join.

If your visa or stamp is running out and you are not successful in your application, the Royal Navy will not support your visa extension request, you will have to return to your country of origin.

If your passport runs out prior to joining the Royal Navy, you will not be able to enter the service. All candidate must have a valid passport and visa stamp.

If your application is unsuccessful, you may still have some time on your visa schedule which will allow you to try again, however this is up to the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) you visit.

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Find your place in the Royal Navy. Make friends for life, learn new skills and experience the world.

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