Joining up from South Africa

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Hi guys,

No doubt there have probably been a few threads regarding SA's joining up but I please need advice from any South Africans currently serving or who is also applying to join the British Army. I have been on the British Army website and have read the notes for commonwealth applicants, the AFCO 5, etc. but I am still uncertain about a few things and I'm going to bullet them if you don't mind. Please note that I do not have a British passport or an Ancestry Visa, I need to try to get to the UK on my own funds and sustain a living until I become accpeted for training.
  • What sort of visa would be my best option to travel on? (They have stopped the 1 year working/Holiday visa for South Africans now so the only option I saw was a 6 month general visitor but you cannot get work on that one and I would need to sustain myself until my application in the UK army, once I'm there, is completed)
  • I know this question is sort of explained in the Notes for commonwealth applicants, but I would like to now from an actual person that has been recruited on how long the application took and what sort of average time i could expect to wait? I am looking at joining the Rifles.
  • What tips are there to getting your application approved and completed quicker?
  • Would it be wise to approach an agency to arrange a job, visa & accomadation for me? Or would I be signing a contract through the agency that would bind me to whom ever they find a job for me with making army recruitment impossible?
I do know people that I might be able to stay with for 1 or 2 weeks once I am there but there after I will have to find my own accomadation until my recruitment is completed and having limited funds it could pose a problem because without a national insurance number I cannot be employed therefore also making it hard to sustain myself for a full 6 months. Are there possibly any loop holes to this? Can I not work in a pub or something, cash in hand, to help me? Also, would a 6 month Visa be enough time?

I have been on and had a look at accomadation options there so I am sure I can find something to rent there. Any advice and tips would really be much appreciated!

Joining the army would really be a dream come true for me and I want this so badly! I just wish the process of getting to the UK were a bit easier!

Kind Regards,

Your right, there are plenty of threads about joining for overseas, why dont you read them or better still, read them and contribute! - Disco
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