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Stop the service charge

The Royal British Legion are campaigning for Commonwealth personnel to be exempt from Commonwealth Visa Fees when they leave the UK armed forces but wish to apply to live in the country.

A Service leaver with a partner and two children will be presented with a bill of almost £10,000 to continue to live in the UK, despite their years of service on behalf of our nation.

The UK recruits soldiers from across the Commonwealth to serve in our Armed Forces. Many of these soldiers leave behind family and friends to move across the world to serve in the UK Armed Forces, becoming a backbone of our Armed Forces capability.

There are currently over 6,000 personnel serving in the UK Armed Forces from foreign and Commonwealth countries, with more being recruited each year to fill technical and specialist roles.

From late 2018, HM Armed Forces has announced its intention to increase its reliance on Commonwealth personnel, with an aim to recruit 1,350 personnel a year.

Unlike their UK national colleagues, these personnel and their families can only continue to live in the country they’ve served at a significant financial cost. This is unfair and should end.

Without leave to remain, UK Armed Forces veterans are cut off from being able to access employment or state support, leaving them and their families reliant on charitable funds or facing repatriation to their country of origin.

Source: Royal British Legion