I welcome the fact that Commonwealth citizens, including Gurkhas, are exempt from immigration control under the Immigration Act 1971, throughout their service. The consequence of this exemption means that they are free from immigration conditions during the time they remain enlisted in HM Forces.
I understand that those who have served as regulars are in a position to apply for settlement upon discharge, under Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules. In order to meet the requirements of the rules for indefinite leave to enter or remain, the veterans must meet certain requirements of the immigration rules, which include an application and the payment of fees.
The Home Office has said that while some veterans may want to apply to become British, there is no requirement for those wishing to remain indefinitely in the UK to naturalise as British citizens. It is good news that when an individual settles in the UK, and as a consequence ceases to be subject to immigration conditions, they are free to remain in the UK indefinitely.
I welcome the fact that the Government has committed to supporting service personnel and their families. I understand that the Home Office is in discussions with the Ministry of Defence on this important issue.