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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Mandatory requirements

All offers of employment in the ADF are subject to the relevant processes relating to medical, immigration and security clearances. You must also make a commitment to apply for Australian citizenship as soon as you are eligible, which is usually after three months service in the ADF.

Permanent Australian resident status is a requirement for ADF service. As part of the recruitment process, the ADF will sponsor permanent resident visas for you and your dependants. However, you are responsible for obtaining your Australian permanent resident visa.

If you accept an offer of employment, you must be available to satisfy immigration visa requirements and be able to join the ADF within 24 months from the date of the offer. This period of time depends on individual Service employment requirements and the necessary security, medical and immigration clearances involved.

You are strongly advised NOT to assume that approval of a visa is automatic or to make significant irreversible changes to your circumstances, including work or housing arrangements, until visas are approved and issued.

Currently your dependants must live in Australia for four years before being eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. For information on accelerated citizenship for families of overseas recruits, refer to the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Defence Families) Act 2012.

You are required to have competent English language skills at the time of lodging your visa application. You can demonstrate that your English is adequate by providing the following evidence at the time of application:

  1. holding a valid passport at the time of your application issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and evidence you are a citizen of that country, and
  2. achieving the required minimum test scores in a specified English language test undertaken within three years immediately before the date you lodge the application.

There may be an additional cost for you, and any dependant member of your family aged 18 years or older, to undertake a test of English as a second language when submitting their visa application.

Applicants must hold an appropriate Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) security clearance at a minimum of Negative Vetting Level 1 before appointment/enlistment. Australian security policy requires that applicants must have a verifiable background of at least 10 years.

Current international agreements allow the transfer of current security clearances for active military personnel from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the United States of America, subject to verification procedures.

Related: Medical, immigration and security clearances