Are Members of EU Militaries Invited to Apply for the British Armed Forces?

  • All candidates for entry into the Armed Forces must:
    • Be British from birth;
    • Hold dual British/other nationality; or
    • Be a:
      • British National (approximately 66 million).
      • Citizen of the Irish Republic (approximately 4.7 million people), or
      • A Commonwealth citizen (composed of 53 members states of approximately 2.4 billion people).
      • The EU is composed of 28 members states of approximately 512 million people (this includes the UK).
  • For some specialisations, such as the Submarine service, candidates must hold British nationality only.
  • The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not sent any invitations to members of EU militaries to join the UK armed forces and they have no plan to recruit non-UK EU nationals into the armed forces.
  • This policy was reviewed and unanimously agreed by the Services in 2015.
  • Although no non-UK EU military personnel have been invited to join the UK armed forces, they could technically join subject to the above criteria.


FOI dated 11 March 2016.


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