Nationality / Immigration status


The Fast Stream is open to applicants who are UK nationals, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, Commonwealth citizens, Swiss nationals or, in some circumstances, Turkish nationals. The Fast Stream nationality requirements are determined by the Civil Service nationality requirements. Find out full details about these requirements and exceptions, including dual nationality (i.e. if you are a UK citizen and are also a national of another country).

If you apply, you'll be asked about your nationality at birth, whether you have ever possessed any other nationality or citizenship, whether you are subject to immigration control and whether there are any restrictions on your continued residence or employment in the UK.

Certain posts, notably those concerned with security and intelligence, might be reserved for UK nationals, but this will not normally prevent access to a wide range of developmental opportunities within the Fast Stream. To join the Diplomatic Service, you must be a British citizen. You must have been resident in the UK for at least 2 of the previous 10 years immediately prior to your application, at least one year of which must have been a consecutive 12 month period, unless you have served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty's Government, or have lived overseas as a result of your parents' or partner's Government employment. To join the FCO as a European Fast Streamer you must be an British citizen.

All applicants should be aware that a lack of sufficient background information may preclude an applicant from being granted security clearance. If you hold dual nationality (i.e. you are a British citizen and are also a national of another country) this should not preclude you from joining.


Please note that as well as meeting the Civil Service nationality requirements, you must also meet any requirements applicable to you under the UK's immigration system. It is possible to meet our nationality requirements but still not be legally entitled to work in the UK.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) operates a points-based immigration system which applies to citizens from outside the EEA and Switzerland (and eligible Turkish applicants). It is your responsibility to check whether you are affected by immigration regulations.

Fast Stream applications will be accepted from any candidate who meets the nationality requirements, but please be aware that if you are a successful applicant from outside the EEA or Switzerland (or an eligible Turkish applicant), your employment as a Fast Streamer will be subject to the Resident Labour Market Test required by the points-based system.

Employment will be offered first to those candidates who have an existing legal right to work in the UK. Such applicants will include EEA nationals, eligible Swiss and Turkish citizens, and any Commonwealth applicant with an existing right to live and work in the UK (for example, those with relevant Tier 1 visas).

All other applicants will be subject to the Resident Labour Market Test. It is therefore impossible to guarantee that the UK Civil Service will offer employment to such candidates, even if successful in the recruitment process.

Please also bear in mind that the application process can involve travel to the UK on more than one occasion. In these circumstances, the decision to apply is yours alone.

Any employment will be contingent on the candidate's continued right to live and work in the UK. Applicants should be aware that their employment may be terminated should that right expire.

The UK immigration system is under review, and therefore this policy may change to reflect the changing legal framework in which employment in the Civil Service exists. Changes in the policy will be publicly posted on this website.

The Cabinet Office, which manages Fast Stream recruitment on behalf of the UK Civil Service, cannot enter into correspondence about individual cases.