Joining considerations/tips for South African nationals.

hughbrown

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Yo im living in South Africa but im doin a correspondence course of British Education.
Im *text deleted* b 16 in July next year but i can only get my O levels at the end of that year at the earliest.
I know there is additional education but does it include O levels or only GCSEs and Higher?

any help would be appreciated
 

Chris

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Hi there!

Ok
1. are you doing the Cambridge system (who you doing it with) as correspondence or the UNISA/Damelin one?

2.Do you intend on joining the Royal Marines in near future, need to know this as there is a mountain of things you need to get done besides education to join the Royal Marines from SA...believe me i have spent two and a half years getting things done before i could even think about moving to the UK to enlist.
 

hughbrown

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Im doing Cambridge through Brainline
I have just recieved my British passport after a 10 month wait from home affairs

id appreciate it if you could let me know wat i have to do
cheers
 

Chris

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Basic Information For Joining:

1. Read up on the No.15 of 1998: Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act aka the Anti-Mercenary Act...Because since the Whole Mark Thatcher incident government is cracking down on all the Apartheid special forces, police and military guys that have been employed as mercenaries. And potentially depending on how the government decides to go with this any South African serving as a soldier in a foreign country could be convicted as a criminal.

Here is a basic copy of it have a little read through, but to really understand it call a lawyer that you know or a local one and go see him and get it explained to you in detail.
The Original Act
http://www.info.gov.za/gazette/acts/1998/a15-98.pdf

Details Relating to the November 2007 signing of the Act into Law ####READ THIS!!####
:. Institute for Security Studies - Institut d'?tudes de S?curit? .:

Update: 05/05/2008 This morning I spoke with the Head Advocate in the legal section of The South African National Defence Force and he gave this info on the Act: " The Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act although being written to law is still undergoing heavy talks with regards too its regulations and currently no one can be charged. If and when the act actually comes into play, all South African citizens will be given a 6 month opening to apply for permission to be exempt from the bill on certain grounds"....so basically as long as you are serving in any section of the British Armed Forces you should be ok, but if you are a mercenary don't get caught being a mercenary or you could be convicted.

Contact details for the legal section of the SADF : 012 355 6236
call and check this information i have given in case things change ( which could be at any time without warning)

2. Read this advice from the Sticky Section
General advice for overseas applicants - PRMC - Join the Royal Marines

3. The South African Government does not allow for security checks to be run on its citizens so unless you have resided in the UK for 3 or more years you have to get a (word may be wrong i can’t recall at the moment) Residency waiver but since the British Armed forces cannot run a security check on you, you have to know someone that is currently serving or has served but has left the Armed Forces within the past 5 years to sign a security form waive for you to gain entry.

4. Read through this forum and other website’s to make sure you can pass the medical requirements that they could ask you to do, no point in coming if you know youre going to fail one.
Medical Standards for Entry - Guidance notes - PRMC - Join the Royal Marines

Education:

GCSEs and A-Levels
If you have GCSEs or A-Levels done through Brainline, An accredited Cambrid
ge Distance Learning School or Damelin you should be fine with your basic education requirements. GSCE as im told is the same as SA's Std 8 exams

Matric
A Matric certificate as im told is an equivalent of A- Levels since you can gain entry to first year University without having to take extra subjects.. Maths, Science and English are recommended as they provide highest entry marks.

National College
An N3 in an engineering subject is somewhat similar to an A-level, if you are going this route I recommend that you take an extra class in English in the business section of the college if you have one. *note as of third block 2007, Pre-N1, N1 and N2 are no longer available, contact your local campus for details regarding this.

Should you have an N4-6 you can try to obtain the equivalent credits towards a degree but it is not always possible



National University and Private Tertiary College
s
The majority of degrees obtained in a National University will be accepted in the UK, although you would do well to phone a UK careers office for help regarding the matter.

Private collages that are accredited/affiliated with
The University of Cambridge : International Examinations, London Metropolitan University or any of the South African National Universities are accepted ### SO LONG AS THEY PROVIDE CREDITS TOWARDS A RECOGNISED DEGREE###


General Advice
1.Make sure you have a place to stay when you get to the UK the application process does not happen overnight. Also having family and/or friends is a pretty big must have during your stay in the UK, being away from home and family can destroy your ambitions quite easily.

2. Get to http://www.1stcontact.com/ and get the kickstart package, it will help you get a bank account easily and will save you alot of hassle and time. Package also contains info on how to obtain your National Insurance number and getting registered with a doctor.


3. You need to bring every scrap of original documentation about your entire life with you as they are needed for quite a few things you will have to apply for eventually... Birth Certificate, ID Documents, Drivers Licence , School Reports with addresses and contact details for each one you have attended since primary school, Doctors Addresses (getting your Doctor to give a write up on previous medical history is dam nice for the AFCO and local docs, they appreciated that I went to the trouble to get the info to save them some work)

4. Aim to come to the country near the begging on spring so that you can get the initial shock of being cold and breathing “damp” air (air here has way more oxygen cause of the altitude if your from anywhere in the High veld, but the air holds alot more moisture and it can feel like liquid in your lungs when breathing heavy for first month or so) then it will get warmer and you can ease into the weather here...Coming from a warm climate it takes some time to get use to the cold, you should take some time to become adjusted to the cold so that you are less likely to injure yourself during fitness training and during Royal Marine Training.

Extras

The British High Commission In South Africa: For details relating to Passports, travel documents etc.

UK in South Africa

Summary of the Effects of the law of the Mercenary Act.

GlobalBuzz-SA - View Single Post - New mercenary act explanatory memo

Debate about the mercenary act
apartheid study government statistics garden at someamongus.com
 

mr.sniper

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Ive found some more info on the mercenary act on the british army website

Update South African Legislation on Mercenaries and Membership of Other Nations' Armed Forces - The President of South Africa (SA) has approved the legislation on mercenaries and membership of Armed Forces of other nations.

* The key point to iterate is that whilst the President of SA has approved the South African Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Regulation of Certain Activities in Countries of Armed Conflict Act 2006, it IS NOT LAW YET and will not be for quite some time until secondary legislation is finalised - until it comes into force, it is business as usual for SA British Army personnel. No one will be required to make any decisions regarding aspects of their future until they are armed with the necessary facts and information to make that decision.
* A letter has been sent to all serving SA Army personnel Regular & TA relating to the South African Mercenaries Act. This letter contains extant travel advice for all personnel SA or otherwise intending to travel to SA.

The letter: http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/sa_pers_letter.pdf
The website: http://www.army.mod.uk/welfare-support/family/1151.aspx
 

Chris

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-----UPDATE 5 MARCH 2009---
uk visa clampdown for south africans
march 5, 2009 01:56

the south african passport is now invalid for attaining entry into the uk, where south africans will need to apply for a visa to be granted uk entry rights?

with the uk government embarking upon one of its most radical regulatory regimes, by deeming the south african passport as invalid to gain entry onto uk based soil, merely as an added security measure, south african based expert immigration group, 1st contact, explain the stark reality and practicalities surrounding this stringent new policy and how this is set to really affect south africans.

According to 1st contact, not only will this be a lengthy and cumbersome administrative process for south africans to gain the correct visa status to visit the uk, but there is also a newly introduced bio-metric component attached to this new regime. It has been alleged that south africans will be required to complete a 10 page application form, incur fees anywhere from ? 65 (for holidays visas) to ? 600 (for business visas) and then still make their way to vfs (visa facilitation service) office, for finger printing and retina scans. The biometric scans are then sent to the british high commission along with the application to review, before the granting of visas takes place.

1st contact predicts that uk authorities may clampdown even further and that the application process may not be as simple and straightforward as what we, as south africans, would have hoped for.

This new policy is set to come into full effect on 3 march for first time south african visitors to the uk, where it is predicted that the full regime will come into play by mid 2009.

Historically south africa has made up the 5th largest tourist group in britain. According to an article published in the bbc, in 2007 419 000 south africans legally visited the uk, comprising of 168 000 tourists and 46 200 business visitors, where over 3000 south africans were even granted work permits. According to 1st contact, the new regime is not designed to curb tourism from south africa but has simply been designed to strengthen the uk?s borders.

It is alleged that 6 months ago, south africa was forewarned by uk officials to improve its passport security systems, where failure to do so would result in stricter entry measures. Countries such as botswana, brazil, malaysia, mauritius, namibia, trinidad and tobago had improved their systems sufficiently and on time to prevent further stringency from the uk government

1st contact offers the following advisory tips for south africans with travel aspirations, to make the most out of this unfortunate situation:

* since this process is a cumbersome one, with predictions being made of a further clampdown, initiate your visa application with an expert immigration firm, in order to avoid delays to the issuance of your visa. The cost of acquiring these visas is extremely high, and coupled with travel expenses, traveling to the uk has now become an expensive undertaking. As such any errors made in the application process could result in individuals running the risk of loosing their non-refundable visa fees. Consulting an expert will ensure that you do not loose your application fee unnecessarily should your application be denied due to a technical error.

* ensure you know the visa entry requirements for the uk prior to departure, as repatriation to south africa can be costly.

* if you are only coming to the uk as a visitor, do not carry things such as cv?s, job offers, employment references etc? in your hand luggage. This will increase your chances of being refused entry by a uk immigration officer!

For more information about this issue, or to make contact with one of our expert visa consultants, visit 1st Contact Visas, Immigration, Visa and international relocation services for UK, Australia..


proposed fee increases for uk visas
march 5, 2009 00:44

following biggest clamp down in uk immigration law, over the past 4 decades, with the announced issuance of visas for south african citizens to enter the uk, the uk border agency (ukba) have recently announced their proposed fee increases for 2009 and 2010.

In an effort to recoup the roll-out costs of their tough new immigration regime, and simultaneously relieve the burden from uk tax payers, the ukba are set to target the recent fee increases directly at migrants and tourists wishing to visit the uk.

In one of the largest immigration shakeups to date, the improvements to systems and technology are set to cost the ukba close on ?2.2 billion over the coming 2 years to ensure the security of its borders. 30% of this costly exercise is set to be recouped through migrant and tourist application fees.

According to stephen atkinson from expert immigration group 1st contact ?some of the most detested increases will be for indefinite leave to remain (ilr) and naturalisation for individuals residing in the uk waiting to attain full uk citizenship rights. On 3 april 2006 the british government increased the qualifying period for ilr from 4 to 5 years for certain visa categories (such as ancestry) which involved paying between ?335-?395 in fees to gain the extra year extension (as ancestry visas prior to 3 april 2006 were only issued for 4 years). Then on 2 april 2007 the british government increased the fees for ilr from ?335 to ?750 and from ?500 to ?950, as well as increasing the fees for naturalisation from ?268 to ?655?.

According to atkinson, regardless of the radical new immigration regime, the uk will always be a destination of choice for travellers and workers alike, due to it?s proximity to europe and the eastern united states. Atkinson adds that from a career development perspective, the uk offers many opportunities in one of the most coveted markets globally, which enhances one?s cv.

Be sure to confirm this information when deciding to come to the UK with the intent on joining the armed forces as it as is everything else always subject to change.
 

guyhamilton

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Gautengaleng ! Ja ma Bru !

I was born in South Africa, Johannesburg, and luckily i am a british citizen and hold a british passport thanks to my mum bieng British, reading what you have said i don't see how it would be any different from my situation, as long as you have the right to live in England, i don't see you bieng a mercenary haha- whatever that bloke was on about!?- Anyways, i'm 16 too, am in the middle of joining and im sure i'll pass with the South African drive and strength built into me :) same with you i'm sure, don't worry, us south africans are tough as old boots, most of the south african marines that get through are some of the best mate, stick at it and you will do well. Good luck and don't worry my china. - Guy
 

Chris

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I was born in South Africa, Johannesburg, and luckily i am a british citizen and hold a british passport thanks to my mum bieng British, reading what you have said i don't see how it would be any different from my situation, as long as you have the right to live in England, i don't see you bieng a mercenary haha- whatever that bloke was on about!?- Anyways, i'm 16 too, am in the middle of joining and im sure i'll pass with the South African drive and strength built into me :) same with you i'm sure, don't worry, us south africans are tough as old boots, most of the south african marines that get through are some of the best mate, stick at it and you will do well. Good luck and don't worry my china. - Guy

Not really sure what your on about mate or who your replying too. The Mercenary act is a rather important thing to understand actually and simply having the right to live in the UK does not exclude you or you family from it.
 

adambowes@yahoo.com

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Hi there

I have always been interested in joining the British Armed Forces and up until recently was more interested in the Army than the Marines. I am currently at university in Stellenbosch, I have an ancestral visa, so getting there and applying should not be a problem. I just want to know two things, where is step 1 to the application process for the normal South African with no British Citizenship or documentation, and what are the rules surrounding the 3 years residency in the UK before joining?

Thanks for your time.

Adam
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Step one: email the overseas desk at London AFCO:navycnr-rffglseoverseas@mod.gov.uk Don't put any attachments on the email because it gets quarantined & takes an age to get through.

Step two: Commonwealth citizens with less than 5 years UK residency may sometimes be granted a residency waiver if they have a "sponsor" who is a currently serving (or recently left) UK serviceperson willing to vouch. Again, the overseas desk will advise the current regulations with regard residency.
 

Struben

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By recently left, what time bracket are you looking at?

I am also a South African looking to join (*edit, the Marines), either within the next year or after tertiary education. That is something i will need to think of at a later stage.

I did sign some waiver a few years ago, but i can not remember the details and one or two guys there said to use them as references when i was ready to come over and they would vouch for me, however in 5 years yet again i do not remember their names.

To be honest living in the UK for a number of years prior to joining is not appealing, my mother is British and my Father has full citizenship and i am able to gain a heritage passport i think. What would be involved time waiting and residency wise with this in mind?

Cameron.
 

SAboi

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Hey Ninja...

Step one: email the overseas desk at London AFCO: navycnr-rffglseoverseas@mod.gov.uk Don't put any attachments on the email because it gets quarantined & takes an age to get through.

Step two: Commonwealth citizens with less than 5 years UK residency may sometimes be granted a residency waiver if they have a "sponsor" who is a currently serving (or recently left) UK serviceperson willing to vouch. Again, the overseas desk will advise the current regulations with regard residency.

:shakehands: Hi Ninja you seem like the wise man on here and the first person to talk to when needing some informaion, well my situation is I have been in the UK for 2.5 years so that means i will need a waiver to join the marines, and my uncle is currently in the forces, is it possible or wise to ask a family member to vouch for me?
 

Fish

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Im from Namibia (South west africa) Do I fall in generally the same catagory as south african applicants.
 

AndrewSA

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The short answer, as far as I am aware, is no. South African citizens are eligible in that they are members of the Commonwealth. Your best bet is to contact the overseas desk at London AFCO. The number/email is provided above. Good luck.
 

Fish

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The short answer, as far as I am aware, is no. South African citizens are eligible in that they are members of the Commonwealth. Your best bet is to contact the overseas desk at London AFCO. The number/email is provided above. Good luck.
Namibia is also part of the commonwealth. I have sent an email to London AFCO but have yet to get a reply from them. I was just wondering as since were neighboring countries and previously part of south africa it would make sense in the applications going through the same channels.
 

AndrewSA

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My apologies, didn't realise regarding your Commonwealth status. Try phoning the Overseas Desk directly.

The process should be the same, however, each case appears to be analyzed on an individual basis.
 

Fish

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No wories mate

Thanks for the advise I'll give them a ring. Just wasnt sure as wheather to wait for an email reply before I phone. Dont want them to get p*text deleted**text deleted** at me for bothering them to much.
 

AndrewSA

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The staff at the various AFCOs deal with thousands of applicants, so are likely to take some time. They do excellent work.

You phoning merely shows that you are serious about pursuing your interest.
 
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