Commonwealth and Non-British candidates

Changes in residency requirements to join the Royal Navy, combined with the implications of the global Coronavirus pandemic, have seen an upsurge in potential candidates from Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK and abroad. The Royal Navy is limited to the number of recruits it can take from the Commonwealth every year into the Royal Navy or the Royal Marines. This means that throughout the year different branches may be closed to all potential candidates not permanently resident in the UK. All interested potential candidates are absolutely encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest which will be responded to appropriately.

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.

Commonwealth countries and territories

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 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 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 persons who do travel to UK without this direction will not be the responsibility of, or supported by, the Ministry of Defence.


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


  1. Including the Australian External Territories: Australian Antarctic Territory (including MacDonald, Heard and Macquarie Islands), Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island. 
  2. Including the New Zealand Colonies and Dependencies: Niue, Ross Dependency, Tokelau Islands Group; and the associated state: Cook Islands. 
  3. Including the British Overseas Territories: 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, the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus.

Registering as a medical professional

If you wish to register to apply as a Medical Officer or Nurse, the General Medical Council or Nursing and Midwifery council you need to ensure that your qualification is acceptable in the United Kingdom.

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