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Recruits don't need to have lived in Britain

Recruits don't need to have lived in Britain

Foreign nationals living abroad will be allowed to join Britain's Armed Forces, the government is set to announce.

Currently, citizens from Commonwealth countries can only join if they have lived in the UK for five years.

But in a bid to recruit more servicemen and women to the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Ministry of Defence is lifting this rule.

The Armed Forces is short of 8,200 soldiers, sailors and air personnel, a report found earlier this year.

It is the worst shortage since 2010, said the independent government watchdog, the National Audit Office.

Ministers are expected to announce the change to recruitment rules on Monday.

It means people from Commonwealth countries - including India, Australia, Kenya, Fiji and Sri Lanka - will be considered for roles, even if they have never lived in Britain.

The government already allows 200 Commonwealth citizens who have not met the requirement of living in the UK for five years to apply for a limited number of jobs every year.

They introduced the rule in 2016.

Now, that cap of 200 will be lifted.

It is hoped the changes will recruit an extra 1,350 people every year.