Royal Navy Commonwealth Applicants

If you’re a Commonwealth citizen, you no longer need to be a UK resident to apply, which means a career in the Royal Navy is more accessible than ever.

You can find all the roles currently available to Commonwealth applicants below. To apply, you will need to hold a valid passport and meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen role. If you’re an overseas applicant, you need to be age 18 or over and have a Visa. If you live in the UK, you can apply from age 16 and will need a biometric residency card.

If you wish to apply as a Nursing Rating or Nursing Officer you need to hold registration with the Nursing and Midwifery council. If you wish to join as a Medical Officer and your primary medical qualification is from outside the UK or EEA the General Medical Council needs to make sure it is acceptable in the UK.

Interested? Read on to find out how you could start a life of travelling the world and protecting the UK’s interests.


Royal Navy Commonwealth Applicants


National service

Flights to the UK

Unsuccessful application

Visa extension

AFCO travel expenses

Security clearance

Expired Passport

Swimming test

Joining the Royal Navy as a non-UK national


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.


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. 

Choose your Royal Navy role

As a Commonwealth citizen, there are 28 different roles available to you. If you have the right qualifications you can join as an officer and start a management career in engineering or medicine. There are rating roles on offer too, where you can join the general workforce of the Royal Navy, doing anything from catering for your crewmates, to getting your hands dirty in the Engine Room of a ship.