If I join the UK's military will I gain citizenship?

I will be moving to NZ soon and obtaining citizenship in a couple years, so for the sake of this question lets just say i'm a NZ citizen. Since I would be a citizen of a common wealth nation I would be able to join the UK military correct? Would this be a way that a commonwealth citizen would be able to achieve citizenship in the UK?


Common wealth citizens can join the UK's military forces. Being an NZ citizen I will be part of the common wealth. There for I can join the military! I already know that part. I want to know if joining will allow me to gain citizenship. So to set the record straight, I will be able to join the military as a NZ citizen.

5 Answers

  • Awake
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    At this point you are not eligible to join the army. From the British Army website referring to a Commonwealth citizen's eligibility to join:

    "You must have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or have resided in the UK for five years before you start an application to join the Army. You must not have been out of the UK for a continuous period of more than 180 days (six months) during this five year period."


    So, Commonwealth citizens can join the army but only if they are legally resident in the UK for at least 5 years.

    For the Royal Navy, there is a residence requirement of 5 years or 3 continuous year immediately prior to applying. A residence waiver is possible if the residency requirement isn't met.

    The Royal Air Force, like the army requires a residency period of 5 years with 3 years allowed under certain circumstance.

    Now, residency to be eligible to join the military aside, joining the military doesn't give you citizenship. Soldiers/sailors still have the same requirements as anyone else wanting to naturalise. The only difference is time abroad while in Crown Service is not held against you.

    1) It will take you time to become a NZ citizen

    2) You would then need to somehow qualify for a visa to move to the UK which is difficult

    3) If you can move to the UK, you'll need to get Indefinite Leave to Remain which takes 5 years

    If you're looking at joining the military just to get citizenship, it won't speed up the process nor give you any advantage over not joining the military.

    The only way for a Commonwealth citizen to get British citizenship is the same way as everyone else:

    Be in the UK legally for 5 years, Hold permanent residency in the UK (which takes 5 years to get) for 12 months.

    For non-EU citizens that means being in the country on a visa that leads to settlement and that is very hard to get these days.

    I'm afraid this plan is a non-starter.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    As already stated , a US citizen won't be able to easily flow to the united kingdom a similar is going for a uk citizen transferring to the US, there aren't any agreements between both countries, in both circumstances to be in a position to get a artwork visa you want kinfolk or a job sponsorship.

  • 8 years ago

    No; you have to be a citizen first to enlist in the services. You can't and won't get a visa allowing you to move to the UK and join the armed forces.

  • JOHN G
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    No, it doesn't work like that , you would still have to get a visa to join the UK military which would not be easy..

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  • 8 years ago

    Typically, you need to be a citizen of that nation to even enlist in their military. This is how it's run in the U.S and Canada.

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