Dual citizenship?

I am currently going through the process leading up to joining the RN as a mine clearance diver. However I am a little confused about something.
I was born in England and hold a British passport. However at the age of seven I moved to South Africa where I have lived ever since. I also have SA citizenship. When I phoned the RN and told the adviser my situation she said that because of my I have lived outside the UK for more than 3 years she must send me a specific application for which I must fill out and send back. But when I received it, it was headed "...RECRUITS FROM OUTSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM" and after reading through the form I realized it was for for NON-British citizens.

This morning I phoned and talked to the same adviser. It sounded like there was a misunderstanding and she said she thought I was Dual -British. But after telling her I was born in England and have a UK passport she changed my details and said I must go to England and meet them.

I am confused about this Dual British status. Because I hold a UK as well as a SA passport does this make me Dual-British? Will having dual citizenship jeopardize my chance of entry?

Hi typhoon mike!

Welcome to Rum Ration!

Are you in South Africa at the moment?

Are you liaising with the dedicated RN Overseas Applications Desk?

You can e-mail them, if not, on:

nr-london-ca3g @ rncareers.mod.uk


War Hero
typhoonmike99 said:
I am confused about this Dual British status. Because I hold a UK as well as a SA passport does this make me Dual-British? Will having dual citizenship jeopardize my chance of entry?

If you hold two valid passports you're a dual national. If you hold one you are that nationality only.

For Diver (a Warfare trade) you must be between the ages of 18 & 32, male and either British or Dual British. Single nationality Commonwealth citizens are ineligible.

The other issue with regard Security Clearance is that a residency waiver is possible for a British passport holder, but not necessarily a single nationality Commonwealth passport holder.

As a Dual national, you will need to provide proof that you cannot be called-up for military service in South Africa & you should also acquaint yourself with the SA mercenary act & it's potential implications if you join the UK Armed Forces.

Good luck.
Thank you Ninja! what about the fact that I have not been living in England for the past three years? I found this entry which although refers to the Royal Marines I think my situation is similar. On that note will it help me having an uncle who was a Major in the Army Air Corp currently living in England?

"Howzit guys, I just got to the UK and I thought I'd keep and regularly post an update of my application process so guys can see what its like and know what they're in for.

I went down to the Careers office and spoke to a RN chap about joining up for the Marines on Monday. First thing, even though I am a British citizen, he said they couldn't touch me as I hadn't been in the UK for the past 3 years - the same rule for Commonwealth/Overseas applicants without citizenship. He was about to send me away when he asked if I knew anyone serving in the forces. Luckily I do, so he said as long as they will vouch for me then the residency requirement can be waived.

Before I arrived in the UK I did email the overseas application desk and also phoned the overseas applicant helpline. To be honest, though, it didn't prove that helpful and said I should to just pop into an AFCO. Perhaps this is because they knew I already had definite plans to come over.

Anyway, I was given an application pack and told to return it once I had filled it all in. The first hurdle is getting my mate to complete the Referee form - you can't just fill it in for them as they have to sign it as well. Basically, they can't continue to process your application until they receive that form. So now I am waiting for my mate to return it to me (I posted it to him on the same day). Being a serving Marine, however, he is pretty busy and it may take some time.

In the meantime, then, I am working and keeping up with the training. Luckily enough I am also staying with family, which makes the whole process that much easier!

One last thing - the Bounty Card. I'm sure everyone knows about this, but basically if you know someone who is serving in the Marines then they must get hold of a Bounty Card and send it to you. During the application process you present it to the AFCO and, if you pass week 15 of training, your mate gets a grand pay-out. Its then between you two to decided on how to split it. So I'm waiting to get the bounty card and my Referee Form back.
Typhoon Mike

If they have asked to see you, it might be worth booking a no-frills airline flight from Germany to London, after fixing an appointment with the CA. If you fly into Stansted, the bus from the airport will take you very close to the building you will want to go to, or, if you prefer, take the train from Stansted to Liverpool St and then it's just a hop and a skip along the Central Line.
Yes when I phoned the office today I was advised to fly to england and then give them a call and they will direct me from there. I think the best option will be to speak to someone directly.

And thank you all for your help. I am amazed how willing people are to help on this site. It makes me even more enthusiastic in joining the British Forces.

Hi Typhoonmike99.

I am a Dual citizen. I have a South african and british passport. I have been accepted and got my Security Clearance in March 09. I also made it clear if I had to go on operations to SA I wouldn't mind giving up my SA citizenship, this is probably never gonna happen, but never say never. But i have been living in the UK for the past 9 years now. the only sticky point that you might have is that for the SC you should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years. I don't know how loose they are with the rules when it comes to the EU.
It's 3 years in the UK for residency or another country where we can do check and Germany is one of them. Also being born in the UK and being taken abroad by your parents can also make a difference to the residency periods.

Good luck, I take it you are aware that there is currently a wait of approx 24 months for the divers branch?


Small branch, so not many places. Not many leaving the branch. Loads of applications for all jobs in the RN at the moment with the current situation with jobs in civvy street.


Hi, I am currently doing my research to join the Navy. I would like to apply as a warfare officer but I have the same problem. My question is, does the same procedure apply to me or is it differen´t because I am applying for an officer carreer? Also, is there any possible way that I can finish my degree studies in Guatemala and have my it accepted for the royal navy? all my studies where here and I really want to join. Last one, may I apply for a bursary if I have to get a uk degree?


War Hero
Where were you born? What nationality (ies) are you ? Where are you resident?What valid passports do you have? What qualifications do you have? What at age are you?

Residency & Nationality rules have changed over the last couple of years. Bursaries are only available for UK-based degree courses.
I was born in England, I have both British and Guatemalan passports, I reside in Guatemala, my qualifications are all basic studies (school, high school) and currently at the university. I don´t understand what at means, or what at am I.And, do you think there´s any possible way that I can join with Guatemalan university degree? and at the same time as my studies, go during the summer for part training with some financial help for the trip? btw, thanks for helping me ;)


War Hero
You are best contacting the overseas desk at London AFCO, email addresses are available via the AFCO link in my signature block.

You will need to copy all your educational certificates and email them to check eligibility. There is no financial assistance with regard travel expenses outside of UK.

Good luck.

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