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Armed Forces (Overseas Recruitment)

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which countries provide servicemen and women for the British armed forces; and what agreements govern their terms and conditions of service. (82011)

With the exception of Gurkhas, to be accepted for employment in the UK Armed Forces an applicant, at all times since birth, must have been British or a Commonwealth citizen, or a Republic of Ireland national. A waiver of these requirements may be granted, in exceptional circumstances, to applicants who are British or Commonwealth citizens, or Republic of Ireland nationals, at the time of their application. With the exception of Gurkhas, all personnel serve under the same terms and conditions of service regardless of nationality.

British Army Gurkhas are recruited in Nepal and remain Nepalese citizens throughout their service, serving under their own Gurkha terms and conditions of service, which have evolved over the years and are based on the provisions of the Tri-Partite Agreement of 1947 between the Governments of UK, India and Nepal. They are currently the subject of a wide-ranging review.