Australian Defence Force opens recruitment to non-Australian citizens

As one of the Albanese Government’s initiatives to grow the Australian Defence Force (ADF), New Zealanders who call Australia home will soon be able to apply to join the ADF.

As outlined in the National Defence Strategy, Defence must recruit, retain and grow a highly specialised and skilled workforce.

To help achieve this, Defence is expanding the eligibility criteria to enable more people to join the ADF, including permanent residents who have been living in Australia for 12 months.

Under this expanded criteria, from July 2024, eligible New Zealanders who are living in Australia can apply to join the ADF.

Additionally, from January 2025, eligible permanent residents from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada will also be able to apply to join the ADF.

As well as meeting ADF entry standards and security requirements, permanent residents wishing to join the ADF must have lived in Australia for at least one year immediately prior to applying, not have served in a foreign military in the preceding two years, and be able to attain Australian citizenship.

Defence is also streamlining the existing Overseas Lateral Recruitment Scheme, which allows the ADF to fill capability shortfalls by recruiting skilled military overseas applicants.

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