Foreign & Commonwealth


AFF SUCCESSAFF success: immigration rules changed for spouses on discretionary leave visas

Many F&C spouses in the UK are wrongly on a discretionary leave visa due to an incorrect application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after their soldier became a British Citizen.  

Previous rules prevented spouses from applying for ILR once their soldier had naturalised until two years had been spent on a different visa.

Discretionary leave was a route created for failed asylum seekers and should never have been given to our spouses.

AFF has lobbied for change on this issue since 2011 and has at last succeeded in bringing about a change in the rules to enable these spouses to apply for ILR.

Find out more: If you’re affected by this issue, further guidance can be found at page 11 of this link.
We also advise that you contact our F&C team for further advice at  

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New immigration rules: military not affected

Some of you may have heard about the recent change to immigration rules which mean that migrants must now be earning at least 35,000 to stay in the UK after six years.

Army families should rest assured that this new rule does not apply to military personnel or their dependants, who have their own routes and thresholds.

The rule applies specifically to those who enter on the Tier 2 routes (point based system) only. Tier 2 is for those coming to the UK to work.

If you have any queries or concerns, contact our F&C team on

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AFF SUCCESSAFF success: policy change for children born during overseas assignments

Since 2011, AFF has pushed for policy change to address the fact that children born to military F&C families during overseas assignments are not born British – a clear disadvantage due to posting location which leaves families having to pay 749 to apply for Citizenship. 

We are very pleased to announce that the MoD has now agreed to start funding the cost of these applications for children born on or after 1 April. Unfortunately, applications for children born prior to this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Find out more: Your soldier can find further information in the newly published DIN ‘Family Migration Rules for UK Armed Forces family members who are Non-British’ 2013DIN01-142. 

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Unit guide to supporting non-British nationals

Calling all UWOs…
Do you need some advice on foreign & commonwealth issues?
Make time to check out this unit guide outlining Home Office and MOD immigration policy for non-British soldiers and their families.
Not sure about the unit responsibility with regards to overseas assignments, discharging non-British soldiers or other concerns?
For guidance on these issues, as well as links to relevant policy documents and a range of useful template documents, click here and have a read today.


EBOLA Guidance For British Soldiers of West African Origin

AFF recognises that some of our families who are of West African origin may have particular concerns regarding the Ebola Virus Disease crisis there. For these families who are planning to return home for leave or R&R in West Africa the leaflet EBOLA GUIDANCE For British Soldiers of West African Origin gives clear and important information for you to follow.


Could you be a volunteer?

We are looking for Foreign & Commonwealth Volunteers to help make F&C families aware of how AFF can help them, ensuring they can obtain the right support, and making the AFF F&C Specialist Team aware of the issues affecting families. If this is something that you think you would be interested in please take a look at the AFF Volunteer website.

AFF F&C Dept

Katherine Houlston, Foreign & Commonwealth SpecialistKatherine Houlston, AFF F&C Specialist


Michelle Prince BurnettMichelle Prince-Burnett, F&C Assistant


Contact F&C 


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