(BBC) – More foreign nationals living abroad will be able to join the armed forces, the government is to announce.
Currently, only 200 Commonwealth citizens per year can apply without having lived in the UK for five years.
But in a bid to recruit more servicemen and women to the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, the Ministry of Defence is lifting this cap.
The armed forces are short of 8,200 soldiers, sailors and air personnel, a report found earlier this year.
It is the worst shortage since 2010, said the independent government watchdog, the National Audit Office.
Ministers are expected to announce the change to recruitment rules on Monday.
It means people from Commonwealth countries – including India, Australia, Kenya, Fiji and Sri Lanka – will be considered for roles, even if they have never lived in Britain.
A rule introduced in 2016 already allows 200 Commonwealth citizens who have not met the requirement of living in the UK for five years to apply for a limited number of jobs every year.
It is hoped the changes will lead to an extra 1,350 people being recruited every year.