Edit Content

Member Area:

News & Articles

Australian Defence Force opens recruitment to non-Australian citizens

The Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence

The Hon Matt Keogh MP
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


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.


Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“Australia and New Zealand have a longstanding relationship – opening the Australian Defence Force to New Zealanders living in Australia will increase opportunities whilst strengthening our ANZAC bond.

“The Australian Government has chosen to grow the Australian Defence Force because it is essential to meet the nation’s security challenges through the next decade and beyond.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon Matt Keogh MP:

“Our people are our most important capability, but reversing the Defence recruitment shortfalls of the last Government requires innovation – we’re being bold in order to grow the Australian Defence Force.

“Recruiting from a wider pool of people, will help ensure our Australian Defence Force reflects the full diversity of Australia and is able to draw on the talents of the entirety of Australian society.”


Read our other blogs

Quarterly Newsletter

Check out the latest Quarterly Newsletter! Click here to view our most recent issue and stay updated with the latest news and insights.

Quarterly Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Drop files here or
Max. file size: 2 MB.