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Frequently Asked Questions relating to eligibility to enlist in the Defence Forces

Who can apply for enlistment into the Defence Forces?

  • Irish Citizens
  • A Refugee under the Refugee Act 1996
  • Nationals of EEA States, i.e. The European Economic Area consists of the member states of the European Union along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • Nationals of any other state who are lawfully present in Ireland must have a minimum of three years legal and unbroken residency in the State and they must meet residency and work permit conditions as laid down by the Dept. of Justice, Equality and Law and must be in possession of a Certificate of Registration (also called The Certificate Residency or the Green Book) issued by Immigration & Citizenship Division, Dept. of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. This authorized period of residency must be open-ended or as a minimum, must cover the period of engagement including any reserve commitment.

What circumstances would make a person ineligible for enlistment?

There are a number of situations that would make a person ineligible for enlistment in the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces. Some examples of these are: -

  • A person discharged from the Defence Forces (Permanent or Reserve) or the Military, Naval Police or Air Service of any other country or state because of misconduct or as a result of being found medically unfit
  • Persons belonging to An Garda Síochána
  • A person convicted by a civil court of a serious offence
  • A person in receipt of a disability pension
  • A person undergoing an apprenticeship
  • An asylum seeker

I have tattoos can I join the Defence Forces?

Tattoos which appear above the collar of shirt will prohibit entry to the Defence Forces.