Australian Defence Force recruitment to be opened to non-citizens

Canberra, June 4 (IANS) Foreigners who have lived in Australia for at least 12 months will be eligible to join the nation's armed forces from 2025, the federal government has announced.

Richard Marles, the minister for defence and deputy prime minister, and Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh announced the initiative on Tuesday in Canberra, saying it would help grow the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the expanded eligibility criteria, New Zealanders who are permanent residents of Australia and have lived in the country for at least 12 months will be able to join the ADF from July 1.

Starting in 2025, citizens from all other countries who meet the same criteria will become eligible to serve in the ADF.

Applicants must not have served in a foreign military in the previous two years and will be subject to ADF entry standards and security requirements.

Keogh said in a joint statement with Marles that expanding eligibility would help reverse ADF recruitment shortfalls.

According to the National Defence Strategy, which was launched by Marles in April, the ADF is currently facing a shortage of 4,400 enlisted personnel after achieving 80 percent of recruitment targets between 2020-21 and 2022-23.



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