Applying from overseas. Please help - very confused.

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by cjt123, Nov 25, 2010.

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  1. Hi

    My fiance is Fijian - a commonwealth citizen - and wants to apply for the role of aircraft handler in the RN. We are both confused about how he applies. He wil be spending 3 months in the UK as from next week, and the plan was for him to go and have a careers interview at a local office and then maybe start the process there. However, I emailed the LND head quaters and it seems that he has to apply from Fiji. They told him to fill out a form on the website - but we can't find it! I found a link, but it appears to be broken - so now he has no idea how to apply, and is leaving for the UK in a weeks time. It would be such a waste of money if he had to fly home - just to apply!

    I have also seen that the waiting time for this role, if he were to be successful, is up to 4 years. I know the available roles for a non brit citizen are limitted, but if anyone could advise me of other roles in the Navy that have shorter waiting times I would appreciate it...

    Also, I know you have to be prepared to work anywhere in the world... but myself and his child are currently based in Cornwall - which roles are prodominately based in Culdrose, Plymouth, or Yeoville whilst not at sea?

    Also, do you have to be able to swim well for all roles within the Navy?

    Sorry if this post seems ignorant I do not know much about the Navy at all and just trying to get some answers asap!

    Thanks in advance
  2. Can't answer for the FAA part but the waiting times are the same for all applicants and everyone has to pass the Naval swimming test irrelevant of which branch you're in.

    Believe it's always been the case that non-UK personnel cannot join up in the UK but apply from their home country.

    NJ and SM will be along to advise on the recruiting side of life.
  3. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    CJT: Online information may be limited at the moment as the RN website was recently compromised. Supermario or Ninja_Stoker (two RN Careers Advisers) will give you the definitive answer in due course.

    And welcome to Rum Ration, by the way! :thumbleft:
  4. Yes he will have to apply from abroad. The best thing to do as the web-site is still in the process of being re-secured is to ring the overseas recruiting line. No. 00(44) 1604 640015. They will then be able to take his details and pass them on to the overseas recruiter, who will then deal with his application.

    The average waiting times for all FAA jobs is 36 to 48 months, which is also the average waiting time for any job available to overseas candidates. All persons wanting to join the Royal Navy should really be choosing a job they want to do not the one with the shortest entry time.

    My honest opinion is that he needs to start the process at least 4 months before travelling across to the UK so that everything can be put into place before his arrival.


  5. Welcome to Rum Ration, cjt123.

    If cost is an issue when it comes to making 'phone calls to the UK, he may find it cheaper to send an e-mail seeking further advice to:

    nr-london-ca3g @

    This is the e-mail address for the Overseas Recruiter in London.
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Welcome to the site.

    To echo the comments above: The RN Website is offline & it's therefore not possible to submit an overseas application online.

    As he's coming to UK anyway, he may enquire at the nearest AFCO to where he is staying, or contact the overseas desk as stated above.

    Current waiting times are listed here

    Jobs are limited to Logistics, Engineering & Royal Marines for Commonwealth citizens, who will also need a residency waiver in order to gain security clearance. To re-iterate, he should select a job he wants, not on the basis of waiting times.

    With regard air trades based predominantly in Plymouth, Culdrose & Yeovil (AET, NA(SE), NA(AH)), it's worth bearing in mind that any trades based in the South West could also be based in Scotland when not afloat. If you want a more stable/static-based UK military career, the RAF are probably a more viable option, although not as prominent in the South West.

    Best of luck.
  7. Hi

    Thanks for all the helpful replies really appreciate it. He has emailed the overseas recruiter asking how to apply without the website, so hopefully he'll be able to start the process before he leaves Fiji. His flight leaves next week.... left it a bit late I guess.

    He is now thinking about applying 4 the Marines because he said 4 years is a bit too long to wait seeing he really wants to start his career in the next 2 years. Having said that if it's definately the role he wants to do then it will be worth the wait if he's successful. I guess it's just finding something to do in the meantime - if he's successful that is.

  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The role of Naval Airman Aircraft Handler has little in common with Royal Marine.

    It is true that NA(AH) can work within 3 Commando Brigade with the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), and opportunities occasionally exist for an NA(AH) to undergo the All Arms Commando Course, but it's by no means assured.

    As a Royal Marine he should join in the expectation to serve & deploy operationally immediately after training. At present the Royal Marines will be deployed on Operation Herrick 14 (Afghanistan) next year (before he could possibly complete training) but it's quite likely he could be deployed on Herrick 17.

    Whilst I'm sure this won't be the case in this instance, we occasionally witness overseas applicants appealing for a "service sponsor" online to vouch for their integrity in order that they may shorten the residency requirement & apply for a residency waiver. Needless to say such a person must already be genuinely known by the applicant in those rare instances a waiver is considered.

    (Not so long back a person was taken-on in the UK armed services in similar circumstances & was later caught & convicted for trying to smuggle a substantial quantity Class A drugs into UK as part of an organised crime syndicate. The sponsor faces prosecution also. Story here: ).

    More detail on the Royal Marines here :

    and here:

    More detail on NA(AH) here:

    and here:

    Commonwealth citizens cannot serve in Submarine trades, Warfare, AET & NA(SE) under current regulations.
  9. Complicated!

    Thanks for all your comments. He will actually be moving to the UK late next year once we are married, and he wants a career in the forces. He wants to apply for the Aircraft Handler role.. but the 4 year wait just seems absolutely crazy. What are applicants on the waiting list doing during the wait?

    The other major draw back is that although he's physically very fit - he's not a confident swimmer due to a near drowning incident when he was younger! It would be likely that he would have to take a lot of swimming lessons in order to pass the initial swimming test, and he's worried that whilst he's doing this the waiting period for the role he wants will only increase!

    Also, he emailed the RN overseas recruiter and has been told that he can apply when he comes to the UK from the career office. VERY CONFUSED now because that just completely contradicts everything else I've read about overseas applicants having 2 apply from their home country.

    Looking at other options outside of the RN, he's considered the RAF but the website says commonwealth citizens have to have been in the UK for 3-5 years as a resident before they are considered eligable to apply.
    He is now thinking about the Army.... but I guess that means him being deployed to Afghanistan and even when he's in the UK I'm pretty sure he won't be based anywhere near Cornwall, which is where his family will be.

    Any advise or input would be appreciated.

    Again sorry if any of the above sounds ignorant, just trying to find some answers...

  10. cjt

    Just as a matter of interest.

    How old is he and what does he have in the way of educational qualifications?
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Presumnably undergoing further education or finding temporary employment.

    Any job that has the words 'Marine' or 'Navy' in the title is going to involve water unfortunately, so common sense would suggest learning to swim is prudent. The Military Swimming test is not assessed as pass/fail until phase one training for RN Ratings, although it is assessed if a Ratings Preparation Course is taken. For those attending Potential Royal Marines Course, they need to be able get from one end of the pool to the other without drowning.

    The "clock" starts when the recruiting test is passed, so the sooner the test is taken, the shorter the wait.

    As stated previously:

    But...if actually still technically resident overseas, then the application must be made via the overseas desk at London AFCO, having first confirmed eligibility through the overseas helpline. Once resident full time in UK, he can apply in UK.

    He will need 5 years UK residency to join the RN or RM under normal circumstances if resident outside of UK prior to submitting an application. In exceptional circumstances a waiver maybe considered depending on country of residence and individual circumstances, but it is not assured.

    All members of the UK Armed Forces should join in the expectation of service in an operational environment such as Afghanistan, regardless of service joined.

    Engineering graduates & Doctors of medicine are the only Officer trades available in General Service.

    Again the advice is for him to talk to the experts on the Overseas Helpline, listed earlier in the thread if he is the person intending to join the service.
  12. I think someone had better tell him about the jobs which require / do not require British citizenship too . . .
  13. Thanks

    I guess I was just trying to find out if there were any roles which allowed him to stay in the South West when he was not deployed... because of our family. And if I'm brutally honest - as his fiancee I wanted to find out which roles had a high chance of him being sent to Afghanistan, and basically the amount of time he'd be away. But I can see now that these are stupid questions, and makes it sound like he's trying to find a role that is just convenient to his family life. I guess if you want that, don't join the forces - because the job and turbulent family life go hand in hand. I can also see now that he should really be completely sure about what he wants to do, and shouldn't be rushing into anything. I think it's because up until yesterday he thought he could apply from the UK - whilst he's visiting for 6 months, but now he's been told he cant, and basically feels like he has 4 days before his flight the overseas email said: 'get his application rolling online'. With the compromised website, that hasn't been able to happen. However, he doesn't know what to apply for anyway! Hoping his career interview will help?

    I agree it does very much sound like he is 'clutching at straws'. He just says that it's always been his 'dream' to join the British forces, and unhelpfully, he does not know what he specifically wants to do - he just knows that he wants to be part of it somehow. As you are probably aware, there are over 2,000 Fijians serving in the British Forces.. he's seen his Brother, cousins and some of his friends recruited a couple of years ago fairly quickly - and always hoped to do the same. He was not expecting a 4 yr wait. But as you said, the waiting list shouldn't really matter.. if you're detirmined and committed, you'll wait and it'll be worth it. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by giving the impression that I think, or he thinks, that getting a job in the forces is 'easy' - that's far from it. And obviously thinking about how it will effect home life shouldn't really be relevent, because there's no way round the disruption.

    He's going to the Careers office in Cornwall, so I guess the first step would be to find out what's actually available to him as a Commonwealth Citizen - and if it's the Navy he still wants to join, the next step would clearly be to learn to swim!! Then I suppose he'd have to fly back to Fiji and apply.. or wait until we're married and he's a resident and then apply.

    He has a Brother in the Army based in Portsmouth, so staying up with him for a while and getting more info would also be helpful to find out about that force and the opportunities available.

    Thanks for the wealth of info. Again, I'm sorry for the naievety and appologise if I've offended anyone with the ignorance..

  14. The careers office in London handles the all the Commonwealth applications so it may be best for him to talk to the experts (that email that Soleil gave earlier is them).

    Just for your information, the Army have far more jobs open to Commonwealth citizens.
  15. And are far more tolerant of Commonwealth soldiers smashing their wives up on a Sunday afternoon.

  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The good news on this score is that his Brother is ideally placed to act as his sponsor, thus potentially reducing the residency requirement significantly, if a waiver is granted.

    The advice, whilst he's in UK is to call into his nearest AFCO & have a chat about Career options available as a Commonwealth citizen, with a Brother who is a UK serviceman prepared to act as sponsor & to establish contact, hopefully clarifying his status as an overseas applicant or as a future intended UK resident applicant.

    Best of luck.
  17. Ninja_Stoker - Thanks for the advice, that is certainly now the plan. So in terms of sponsorship, does it have to be a member of the forces that sponsors him? Or can I do so as his fiance, and as a British Citizen. I am sponsoring him at the minute so he can come over on a visitors visa, or is this a different thing all together.. sorry bit confused (Again)

    Cadetsmum - Thank you so much for the fitness program - having seen the spec for the swim test he's confident that it's pretty achievable. I think he was expecting some sort of marathon swim. Some swimming lessons will definately be a good though, before hand - thanks for idea! In reponse to your question about Cornwall... no I'm not necessarily tied here at all. It's just all of my family are based in Cornwall and I'm hoping to stay down here in the long term - but know that may not be very practical at all if he's wanting to go into the forces. We were just kind of wondering if any of the roles that he was interested in, and eligable for, would base him in the SW when he was not deployed. Turns out that the Air Crafthandler may well do...

    Lastly, out of curiosity - whilst I'm here - how long does he have to become a confident swimmer? I know it's a bit of silly question, but just sort of trying to get an idea of the time scale between applying - and the fitness test, if he were to get to that stage. Apologies if this is a really repetitive question.

    Thanks for the advice again everyone it's been so helpful.


    edited for terrible spelling! 8O
  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The issue with regard Nationality, period of residency & sponsorship can be quite complex as it also depends on current diplomatic relations with the UK government & whether or not the country of origin has a reciprocal agreement with regard exchange of seurity data (besides WikiLeaks!).

    Some Commonwealth countries are very different in this respect & this is why it's vital to confirm eligibiity with regard Nationality & Residency via London AFCO overseas desk.

    On the subject of sponsorship with regard residency, if applicable, it needs to be a person serving or recently served in UK Armed Forces.
  19. I dont think it has been said but im almost 100% sure commonwealth soldiers can only join as ET (ME) not ET (WE) or AET. I think.

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