How to Join the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth Citizen

Looking to join the Royal Navy as a Foreigner or Commonwealth citizen? Read on to find out what you need to do to join!

Since November 2018, the British Armed forces has opened its doors to foreign nationals and Commonwealth citizens. While Commonwealth citizens were previously legible to join the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, or Army, the Armed Forces are accepting more applications from Commonwealth citizens.

To be precise, 1,350 new positions per year have been opened for Commonwealth citizens who wish to join the Armed Forces. 1,000 of these spaces are allotted to the Army. 300 for the Royal Navy, and 50 for the Royal Air Force. This number may increase in the future.

Join the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth Citizen

Eligibility to Join the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth Citizen or Foreigner

Joining the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth citizen is more viable now with the increased Commonwealth recruiting numbers. However, there are still eligibility criteria you must meet before you can join:

  • Nationality – To join the Royal Navy, you must be either a British citizen, British national, British/Dual national, Commonwealth citizen, or Irish Republic national;
  • Age Requirements – To join the Royal Navy as a UK citizen, you must be aged 16-36 years old. If you are a Commonwealth citizen, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • Passport – Commonwealth citizens must hold a valid passport.

List of Commonwealth Countries

If you are a citizen of any of the following countries, then you are eligible to join the Royal Navy: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brunei Darussalem, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu and Zambia.

Conclusion – Join the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth Citizen

Now you know what it takes to begin your application for the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth citizen. If you’d like to learn more, check out our guide: How to Join the Royal Navy.

Join the Royal Navy as a Foreigner

71 thoughts on “How to Join the Royal Navy as a Commonwealth Citizen

  1. Dickson Pasky says:

    Great stuff, i am 28 of age and i like the army so much , so am i allowed join? And where can i start to apply ?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Dickson,

      It would depend on your current citizenship status. Are you a member of a commonwealth country? If not, you would need to obtain British Citizenship.


      The How2Become Team

  2. Mohamed Haroun Kuyateh says:

    I am a Sierra Leonean and I would like to be enlisted into the royal Navy, How do I go about it please?

      • Mohammed pedro brimah says:

        Hi I am from a ghana and I would like to join the uk navy. I tried filling the application but there Is a section which is asking if ” I am currently serving or family / friend serving in the navy” I dont know what to choose . Please help.

        • Gemma Butler says:

          Hi Mohammed, you just need to answer this question honestly. If you or a member of your family currently serve in the Navy you would answer yes. If not, you will answer no.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      Please could you explain what you mean by the term ‘lock’? Tattoos are acceptable, it just depends where on the body they are, and what the design is.


      The How2Become Team

  3. judah christian says:

    I also have a Rastafarian hair type is there length requirements?also a hand tattoo is this allowed? I was reading chapter 38 of the policy & appearance is that info acurate?it stayted as of February 2019 some policies were adjusted.

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Judah,

      Unfortunately Anguilla is not in the commonwealth, so you would need to apply for British citizenship first. In regards to your haircut, and the tattoo, the army would need to assess these during the selection process. There’s no definitive way for us to say if they would be deemed acceptable or not.


      The How2Become Team

    • judah christian says:

      I do have a passport from the United kingdom which should be a plus, do one still have to apply for citizenship after owning a valid United kingdom passport? because that is what I use to travel to and from the UK and i get the waiver for the U.S.

  4. judah christian says:

    I do have a passport from the United kingdom which should be a plus, do one still have to apply for citizenship after owning a valid United kingdom passport? because that is what I use to travel to and from the UK and i get the waiver for the U.S.

  5. Momodou papa Njie says:

    I`m Mr.Njie and am from the Gambia am i eligible to join the royal navy because Gambia is one of the commonwealth countries but i haven`t seen my country listed on the commonwealth countries

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      Gambia is one of Commonwealth countries, so you would be eligible to apply! Give it a go and let us know how you get on =].


      The How2Become Team

  6. Muhamed Febil E P says:

    I have already applied and got my entry date to royal navy. Right now i am stuck in India because British high commission in India is rejecting my visa to uk. I need to complete my PRNC before joining. For that i need to come to uk with my own valid visa. How will i apply for a visa to enter uk for completing my PRNC ?

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi Muhamed,

      Unfortunately we are not able to assist with visa specific issues – this is something you would need to discuss with the army directly.


      The How2Become Team

    • James Maina says:

      @Muhamed Febil when did you start the application process to join the Royal navy since mine has taken now 8 months and no reply yet

  7. Semesa Niumatasere says:

    Hi My name is Semesa, from Fiji. I have just submitted the request for application and register of interest. currently interested in the field of ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO. i wish to know the next step, shall i wait for their response via email? for me to proceed with my application?. Kidnly appreciate your advise. Thanks

    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      If the army deems your application to be strong enough for the next stage, they’ll get in touch with you using the contact details that you provided. So, sit tight and hopefully they’ll be in touch soon!


      The How2Become Team

  8. James Maina says:

    Am from commonwealth and i did my application on May 2019… I got the correspondence form which i sent back later via land mail . After ONE months i was sent my medical form which i did my medical and i had to send via land mail. its being 3 months now and i haven’t heard from the Navy. I was apply for Royal marine

  9. Daniel Urum says:

    Hi my name is Daniel Urum and I am from Nigeria a commonwealth nation. I have a dream to become a navy personal in the UK. I have gone through all the sites I can possibly go through but I have not seen where I can apply. I really need assistance to achieve this dream.


    • Jordan Cooke says:

      Hi there,

      Let us know which country you are from, and we’ll do our best to assist!


      The How2Become Team

  10. Oyedeji Oluwaseun says:

    Would like to join the British Royal Navy where do I start from and how do I go about it, am from a commonwealth nation

  11. Onasanwo Babatunde says:

    Good day, I am Onasanwo Babatunde a Nigerian who has really tried my best possible joining the Nigerian navy but was turned down and I was advised to wait for my visit to the UK in 2009 by my brother but was not well informed about the recruitment process. In 2018 I was in the UK for a 10days visit so I couldn’t. Now that am in the UK I humbly wish to join which am born on the 21st December 1984 and my visa valid till 14/03/2020 while my passport expires 09/09/2020. With my great passion towards this course am I legible to join I plead on compassionate grounds.

  12. Aderinto Mutiu says:

    Am from a commonwealth country but I don’t reside in UK, is it possible for me to register from my home country?.

  13. Francis says:

    Hi am Francis from Kenya and I applied for a position in the royal navy but still I haven’t received any correspondence from from them….kindly assist on wat do next…

  14. Selvakumar says:

    Like to join British Navy i’m from Malaysia….what will be the requirement…having with me a college diploma obtained from a British college and it is Hotel Operation and Management Course diploma…can i find any job which is related to my course in the navy and as well as what will be the age limit? Hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you.



  16. DENNIS says:

    During the application process I get stock at the postal code,its like am inserting it wrongly.
    Is there a format used in filling the postal code ?

  17. Jeffrey Seidu says:

    I currently a student in the Uk but have spent only five moths now in the UK is possibly to join the Royal Navy.

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Jeffrey, the residency rules can vary depending on the role you are applying for.

  18. Naman Ojha says:

    Where does one find the details of the selection process. What type of Tests (Engineering / Technical, Aptitude, Psychology), Interview, Physical, Medical etc, duration of tests, announcement of results, dates etc.
    I am presently a Second Engineer in the Merchant Navy.

  19. Nlemeke Kingsley Tochukwu says:

    I am interested to join the Royal Navy as an international applicant of Commonwealth citizen. Please guidelines to my next step. Thanks for this opportunity.

  20. Wasantha Sugathadasa says:

    I am a marine engineer in Sri Lanka Navy with more than 10 years experiences. How can I join to Royal Navy?

  21. Parbdeep Singh says:

    Good day Sir
    Im a marine engineer from India working in renowned shipping company as third engineer.
    My age is 29.
    Im very keen to serve British Royal Navy.

  22. Tai says:

    Hi, I’m from Trinidad and Tobago and would love join the Royal Navy. An agent on the website told me that I had to be a British National to join but I’m not sure if that’s true. I also had my application rejected due to the high numbers of commonwealth applications so will I still be able to join in the future and could it take several years?

    • Gemma Butler says:

      HI Tai, you can apply if you have commonwealth citizenship, there will be a number of roles available. Your application will be rejected if you don’t hold a valid passport or meet the reset of the eligibility criteria though.

      Given the large amount of applications and the COVID-19 situation it may take a little longer than usual.

  23. Mosoti says:

    Hi I am from Kenya and I did make a request for an application in the royal navy website for a job I was interested in and this is the response I got from them…”Unfortunately we can’t take your application any further as the job that you are interested in applying for is not open to you because you don’t meet specific nationality requirements.”
    What does it mean? nationality requirements? could you help with this? thanks

    • Gemma Butler says:

      Hi Mosoti, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately this is not something we can assist with as we have no involvement with any Armed Forces applications.

      You should seek further clarification from your local Armed Forces Careers Office.

      Kind regards,
      The How2Become Team

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