Nationality & Residency
To meet RAF nationality requirements, you need to be one of the following:
- British citizen
- British national
- British/Dual national
- Commonwealth citizen
- Irish Republic national
To meet RAF residency requirements, you should have been a UK Resident for a minimum of five years immediately preceding application, and have spent no more than 28 days per year outside the UK within those five years.
UK residents of less than five years, or those who have spent more than 28 days per year outside the UK will require more eligibility checks. If this is you, call us for further advice.
You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.
You should have resided in the UK for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. In certain circumstances, if your period of residency has been broken, we may still be able to consider your application.
Age requirements vary depending on which role you choose. The youngest age for applying is 15 years and nine months for an Airman. The oldest is 55 years for a Medical Officer.
If you’re under 18 years of age, you’ll need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply. If you’re under the minimum age to join, follow our Altitude Facebook Page to get a feel for life in the RAF.
21 - 53 (Must enter SERE before 53rd birthday) Candidates can be accepted up to age 53 if you are already fully accredited. If you require professional training this age will be lowered to take account of your exact training requirements.
Whatever your academic background, there are a range of great opportunities in the RAF. Some require minimal qualifications, others require specialist skills and/or a degree.
Check the educational requirements for your role, if unsure consult the RAF equivalent qualifications in case they are applicable.
Direct entrants must be fully registered with the General Medical Council. Sponsorship is available for the final three years of study in a UK Medical School.
All applicants must be fit in order to complete initial and specialist training, and perform their roles effectively. To assess fitness, every candidate undergoes two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course. The fitness requirements for these tests vary according to role, age and gender.
You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:
You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:
RAF MSFT: Intro
RAF MSFT: Bleep Test
You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here:
1) The Selection Fitness Test is used to demonstrate physical preparedness in a 2.4km run, press ups and sit ups. See the table below for detailed requirements.
|AGE||2.4 Km Run (Minutes)||Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level)||Press-ups (Number)||Sit-ups (Number)|
|AGE||2.4 Km Run(Minutes)||Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level)||Press-ups (Number)||Sit-ups (Number)|
There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:
1) Body Mass Index requirements:
|Age||Male and female minimum||Male and female maximum||Male maximum with additional assessment||Female maximum with additional assessment|
16 to <18
Calculate your BMI now, click here.
2) Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.
Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.
All applicants are required to:
- Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
- Check eligibility under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary of its provisions
- Undergo a basic background check to obtain Security Check level clearance
Some roles also require applicants to declare spent convictions, and obtain additional clearance.
You must also be cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau as a condition of entry to the service. Ongoing clearance may also be required throughout your career.