Americans attending Sandhurst?

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I have lived in Britain for 4 years (for university) and wish to stay over here and serve in the British Army. Are there any exceptions to the nationality rules that would allow this? I have friends from Commonwealth nations who got exceptions (one in particular after less than 3 years in the country), so I am curious as to whether there are any possible avenues around this...
Commonwealth and Irish citizens are automatically entitled to apply for entry into the British Armed Forces. Unfortunately, due to some unpleasantness in the 18th century, Americans don't have the same entitlement. This leaves you with two options.

Option one is the nationality waiver. The MoD can issue these in exceptional circumstances. Applying for a shortage trade and/or having an in demand skill (such as fluency in a Middle Eastern language) would give valuable points towards exceptional circumstances. Having been in the country for four years is also useful as it allows criminal and financial checks to be made.
However, this option is more miss than hit as it requires various people in various parts of the MoD to agree that your circumstances are exceptional.
If this is the option you choose your first port of call should be the overseas desk here:

Armed Forces Careers Office London
2 - 12 Bloomsbury Way

Tel: 0207 305 3329
Fax: 0207 305 4310
E-mail: @

Option two is to apply for British citizenship before applying to join the Armed Forces. As long as you are willing to put in the work to get British citizenship, this route is much more likely to be succesful.

Good luck to you, whichever route you choose.


Book Reviewer
Foreign/Non Commonwealth national students, with no other Immigration concessions, waivers or special circumstances, have little/no chance of being accepted due to the specific circumstances preventing foreign nationals serving in UK Forces. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

If you are on a current and soon to be expiring visa, and this is your way of finding a way to stay here, then you will fail, unless you have permanent residency, or are currently married to a British Citizen (you would already have qualified for British Nationality if married to a national for that long), but i doubt this is the case, as you would not need to post here.

As a student, whose visa is expiring soon, you might as well just give up, as you will not get in. Understanding the United Kingdom Immigration Rules the way I do, you have virtually no chance of success, short of paying someone to Marry you, and even then you would have to wait 3 years to acquire nationality here - which I suspect, in your circumstances, would probably be too long.
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