Chinook in Sunset



1. To be eligible for membership of a UAS, a candidate must meet the minimum educational standards for commissioned service in the RAF and be a full-time registered student studying for a degree at a university or college affiliated to a squadron. In addition, all of the following conditions must be satisfied:

a. The candidate should normally have at least three academic terms in which to complete an approved course of study from the date of entry to the Squadron.

b. Age Limits. The candidate must normally be at least 18 years of age when joining the UAS. A candidate under the age of 18 may only be considered if the consent of a parent or guardian is obtained. Attestation into the UAS will only take place after their 18th birthday. Those wishing to join the RAF as pilots should note that the age limit on entry to flying training is 26 years.

c. Be physically robust and able to pass the RAF Fitness Test as required.

d. Nationality Requirements. Subject to certain branch limitations, candidates for entry into commissioned service in the RAF must be British, Commonwealth, British Protected, Republic of Ireland, or dual national (British/other) citizens at the time of application. Eligibility rules change from time to time and applicants who have any doubt are advised to contact their nearest suitable Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) for clarification.

(1) British Citizens. British Citizens are those persons born in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man who have a right of permanent abode in the UK Persons born overseas to British parents where the birth was registered at a British military unit, British Consulate or Embassy are also eligible for service as British Citizens.

(2) British Nationals. From 30 Jun 07, the RAF has accepted applications from candidates who have naturalised and are now British Nationals. They will have been issued a naturalisation certificate following a qualifying residency period in the UK of 5 years and hold a British passport.

(3) Commonwealth Citizens. Not all Commonwealth countries meet the entry criteria; candidates of independent Commonwealth countries are advised to contact their local AFCO or British consulate for clarification. For the purpose of this policy, Commonwealth citizenship encompasses: British Citizens, British Overseas Territories (BOT) Citizens, British National Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Citizens[1] British subjects under the British Nationality Act 1981 and citizens of an independent Commonwealth country.

(4) British Protected Persons. Personnel from British Protectorates are eligible for service with the RAF.

(5) Republic of Ireland Citizens. For the purposes of this policy, only Irish Citizens born in the Republic of Ireland are eligible for service in the RAF. Other special rules apply for Irish Citizens and such applicants are advised to contact their nearest AFCO for clarification.

(6) Dual Nationals. The RAF accepts applications from individuals with dual nationality, where at least one is a nationality detailed above.

In cases where there are doubts concerning a person's nationality, the individual is advised to contact the Home office (Nationality and Immigration Division) for guidance regarding their status.

2. The following persons are ineligible for membership:

a. Commonwealth students who are prohibited from entering a UAS by the terms of any Service commitment they may have in their own country.

b. Persons who would be ineligible for entry into the RAFVR (UAS) in general.

3. Residency Requirements. Candidates except Commonwealth students, whether or not they are of UK origin, should normally have resided in the UK for a minimum of 3 years immediately preceding their application. In certain circumstances, particularly where a candidate is of UK origin, a shorter period may be granted provided that satisfactory enquiries can be made in the candidate's previous country or residence. Since July 2013 Commonwealth students should normally have resided in the UK for a minimum of 5 years immediately preceding their application. There is no potential for a residency waiver for Commonwealth students.

[1] British National Overseas and British Overseas Citizens apply to persons from Hong Kong born prior to 1997.

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