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Pilot role for commonwealth ?


Good Day Ladies & Gents

I am new here, firstly allow me to introduce myself. I am 25 years old from South Africa and have actively been exploring opportunities to join the RN. I understand that commonwealth applications are currently on hold, however i will make it my priority as soon as the hold if lifted. I have undergone numerous hours of private flight training here in SA and currently hold a Private Pilot License (A), as much i would love to advance my flight training, it is becoming unaffordable. Besides the fact, i have always wanted a career in the RN.

My questions are as follows:

1.) Would i be eligible to join the RN as a Pilot through a commonwealth enlistment ? I understand the RAF has residency requirements (minimum 3 years living in the UK) does the RN share these requirements for this particular role?

2.) Do my current flight hours play any part in contributing to my application for such role ?

3.) Failing eligibility to apply for a Pilot role: I would like to explore a different opportunity within in the RN (Royal Marines would be a first choice). Do opportunities exist to transfer / switch roles after meeting the residency requirements ? If so, is it recommended to do so or would it be advisable to stay within the capacity of where you were originally enlisted?

I have reviewed the RN website however it is unclear as it neither directly includes or excludes the role for commonwealth applicants, i have also made use of the search function however returned no applicable results.

Any advice / input is much appreciated.
Thank you.
Last edited:


War Hero
1. To apply for pilot applicants must be British or Dual British/USA only and have lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying. In other words, hold a Brit or US passport.

2. Unfortunately not.

3. RM Officers can be Commonwealth citizens if they meet all other eligibility criteria & pass selection. To become a pilot they transfer to RN (since 2018) and must meet the same nationality & residency requirements as direct entry RN pilots.
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