Overseas applicants

The Army welcomes enquiries from current and ex-serving members of foreign defence forces who are interested in a new career and a new life in Australia.

Please note that the Australian Army will be taking Expressions of Interest from overseas applicants from 01 May 2022 until 15 October 2022

Reinforcing the Army

Our Overseas Lateral Recruitment Scheme helps address capability shortfalls that cannot in the short term be solved using Australian personnel. If you are a serving (or recently ex-serving) member of an overseas defence force with appropriate qualifications and/or experience, you may be eligible to apply for a role.

Supported by relevant government departments, the scheme enables the Army to sponsor successful applicants for an Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Visa.


Understanding what’s involved

If selected, you’ll find the Army offers a strong support base for you and your family. However, it’s important that you carefully research and fully understand the implications of moving to Australia before you submit an expression of interest.

The Defence Member and Family Support has published a handbook that helps you and your family understand the various stages of the application, joining and transition process. You’ll find the handbook and other useful information here:

DMFS Overseas Recruit Info


Am I eligible?

You’ll need to meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Current serving member of a foreign military service, or left less than three years ago
  • At least five years of full-time military experience
  • Qualifications, skills and experience that can be directly transferred to the Army
  • The minimum academic and military educational standards required by the Army
  • Less than 48 years old at time of application
  • Able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (speaking, reading, writing and listening) as defined by the International English Language Testing System

    To be accepted you’ll need to:

    • be recommended by a Selection Board after interview,
    • pass the medical entry standard for the ADF,
    • obtain an Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Visa from the Department of Home Affairs (you and all accompanying family members will need to meet certain health and character requirements),
    • be able to obtain and hold an appropriate level of ADF security clearance,
    • have resigned from your current military service and not be required to perform any Reserve service, and
    • be eligible and undertake to become – an Australian citizen.

What’s the application process?
  1. Your application will be managed by the Directorate of Career Management Support – Army (DCMS-A), not Defence Force Recruiting. You should expect the process to take 18 to 30 months from initial expression of interest through to your first day at work in the Army. During this time, you will need to meet the medical standards for Army, been deemed suitable during a board interview, granted a visa and demonstrate that you have resigned from your current military service, able to provide a separation date from all service types (full time, reserve service, etc) and gain the required security clearance.
  2. Your first approach to DCMS-A (using the email form link later on this page) should be an expression of interest accompanied by a CV/resume. If you are assessed as having the qualifications, experience and potential to fill an expected vacancy, you will be invited to submit a full application.
  3. Once that is submitted, it will be reviewed to confirm that your skills and qualifications can be readily transferred to the Australian Army.
  4. If you have been assessed as having the required skills and qualifications that can be readily transferred to the Australian Army, you will be asked to provide a full medical history which will be reviewed by a Doctor to confirm if you meet the necessary medical standards for the Australian Army. Additionally, you will be required to undertake a psychological screening and an interview with Defence Member and Family Support prior to attending a virtual selection board.

    If you obtain a successful outcome during the medical review and selection board and there is a vacancy in your identified trade a letter of offer may be extended.
  5. If you accept the Letter of Offer, the Australian Army will apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Visa from the Department of Home Affairs for you and your dependants that will be accompanying you to Australia. If you and your dependants successfully obtain a visa, proof that you have or will be separating from all service types (full time, reserve service etc) before the ‘First entry date’ listed on your visa is required.
  6. Prior to commencing work in the Australian Army you will need to obtain the relevant security clearance.

Soldier or officer?

Vacancies are broadly grouped into ‘officer’ and ‘other ranks’ categories.

    • General Service Officer (GSO)
    • You’ll need to have completed a minimum level of education equivalent to an Australian Higher School Certificate (Year 12), plus a level of military commissioning training equivalent to that conducted at the Royal Military College – Duntroon.

    • Specialist Service Officer (SSO)
    • You’ll need to have obtained a level of tertiary qualifications for your specialist area of expertise – and qualify for registration with the relevant Australian registration body/authority prior to appointment. You’ll also need to have completed a level of military commissioning equivalent to the Specialist Service Officer course conducted at the Royal Military College – Duntroon.

    • Other Ranks (soldiers)
    • You’ll need to have completed a level of education equivalent to an Australian Secondary School Certificate (Year 10), plus a level of basic military training equivalent to that conducted at the Army Recruit Training Centre – Kapooka.


Availability of vacancies

It’s important to note that here are many employment categories that are full at certain rank levels and are likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. However, vacancies change on a regular basis, so your expression of interest will be welcomed as long as you meet the eligibility criteria detailed above.

You’ll only be invited to submit a full application if deemed to be eligible for an appropriate vacancy that arises. If at any stage during the process that vacancy then ceases to be available, your application may be delayed or cancelled.



Everything else you need to know
  • Expression of Interest

Use the email link below providing as much detail as possible, both in the email fields and your CV/Resume. The latter should focus on your military qualifications and experience. Please click link for an example of a CV/Resume.

  • Full Application
  • If your expression of interest is suitable and a potential vacancy has been identified, you will be invited to submit a full application via a pack that will be sent to you electronically. The key components of the application pack are:

    • Civilian Education Certificates
    • Civilian Trade and Course Certificates
    • Military Trade and Course Certificates
    • Military Service History (Units and Rank/Promotions)
    • Annual Performance Appraisal Reports
  • Trade Assessment

Your qualifications and experience will be assessed to ascertain your suitability for an Army vacancy, so it’s important you provide as much information as possible. This initial assessment is carried out by subject matter experts external to DCMS-A and forms the basis of any offer that may be made later in the application process.

If your supporting documents are not in English, you will be required to provide ‘official and endorsed’ English translations. Unfortunately, the DCMS-A is unable to assist with translation services and untranslated documents will not be considered.

  • Medical Documents
  • If you are successful at trade you will be asked to provide a full medical history in addition to providing the following:

    • ADF Medical Entry Questionnaire
    • ADF Entry Level Medical Examination Form
    • ADF Dental Clinical Record Form
    • ADF Eye Examination Form
    • Copy of your military medical and dental documents

In order to complete these compulsory forms you’ll need to undertake medical, dental and optical examinations through your current service or private medical practitioner.

Only applicants who satisfy the ADF’s initial medical entry standards can be appointed / enlisted into the Army.

  • Selection Board Invitation

Once your completed medical history has been received you will be invited to attend a Virtual selection board. You will be given the opportunity to identify your preference of day/time, however there is no guarantee that you will be given your requested date/time. Your attendance date and time will be confirmed at least a month prior to the board date. Following the selection board you will be notified within 14 days of the board results.

  • Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) Interview and Psychological screening

Once you have been allocated a board date you will be contacted by Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) and a member of the Army Performance and Potential cell to undertake the relevant interviews and screening.

The DMFS interview will discuss aspects of your personal and family situation, availability of support and general expectations of your potential move to Australia.

The Psychological screen will include a life history questionnaire and psychometric testing.

These requirements must be completed prior to your attendance at the Virtual selection board. If you have not completed the DMFS interview or provided the relevant documents to the Performance and Potential cell you interview will be cancelled and your application may be closed.

  • Letter of Offer

If you obtain a successful result during the selection board, have been medically cleared and there is a vacancy in your identified trade you may be extended a Letter of Offer. This is your formal job offer which you must either accept or reject within 14 days from the delegates signature. It will specify the employment category, rank and pay details along with initial posting details (unit and location) that you are being offered. Please note that no negotiations will be entered into regarding these details.

  • Visa Process

Once you have accepted your Letter of Offer, the DCMS-A will sponsor you for a Subclass 186 visa from the Department of Home Affairs. You will then be provided with the Transaction Reference Number (TRN) that allows you to start the visa application process online. Department of Home Affairs visa processing can take between six and twelve months.

  • Resignation from Current Service

As mentioned earlier, you will be required to provide proof of your discharge/separation from current military service (including release from any Reserve service obligations) before being accepted into the Australian Army – and you cannot join whilst on terminal leave.

  • Appointment/Enlistment

Before moving to your initial posting location in Australia, you will be required to attend an Australian Embassy or High Commission to confirm your appointment/enlistment. This will generally be immediately prior to your move to Australia.

  • Contact details

Please note that Australian Embassy and High Commission staff do not have an active role in the OLRS application process. You should address any correspondence to:

cma.lateraltransfers@defence.gov.au