Foreign nationals will be eligible to join the Armed Forces in greater numbers as British residency requirements for service are set to be scrapped.
The Ministry of Defence will remove the need for Commonwealth citizens to have lived in the UK for five years before applying for service, it will be announced on Monday.
An extra 1,350 personnel from oversees are hoped to be enlisted to the Navy, Army and Air Force every year.
The move comes as the Armed Forces struggle to recruit enough personnel to fill a shortfall in their ranks.
Applicants from nations including India, Australia, Canada and Fiji will be considered for all roles in the forces, without having lived in the UK.
Until now, they had to have resided in Britain for five years and their recruitment was capped at a maximum of 200 per year.
The Army will begin the admissions from early next year, while the Navy and RAF will commence the process immediately.
Other than the Nepalese Gurkhas and applicants from the Republic of Ireland who can enrol under a special arrangement, those from outside the Commonwealth will still need British citizenship to apply.
Foreign nationals will be eligible to join the Armed Forces in greater numbers as British residency requirements for service are set to be scrapped. The Gurkhas can currently enrol under a special arrangement.
Ministers say the move will give Britain an ‘operational advantage over our adversaries’ as well as ‘perspective’ and ‘cultural understanding,’ according to the Daily Telegraph.
However, MPs have said it highlighted the recruitment crisis in the Armed Forces.
They blamed Capita, the business service provider hired to run the Army’s recruitment campaign.
Mark Francois, a member of the defence select committee, told the Telegraph: ‘Foreign and Commonwealth troops have historically been important and valued sources of recruitment for the British Army and I welcome the recruitment limit increase.’
But he added that this ‘cannot excuse the ongoing disaster that is the Capita recruiting contract.’
He cited recent evidence given to the committee that the Army would be ‘lucky’ to reach 50 per cent of its recruitment figures this year.
‘The Army is disappearing before our eyes and will continue to do so until Capita are sacked,’ he added.
Lt Gen Sir Mark Poffley, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff for Military Capability, gave evidence to the committee in the Commons and conceded that the Army failed to hit recruitment targets in recent years.
But a Capita spokesman told the Telegraph: ‘We are confident that the changes we are introducing to the Army recruitment process are delivering [better] outcomes for candidates and the Army.’
In April, a National Audit Office report said the full-time military was running at a 5.7% shortfall.
An extra 8,2000 regulars and 2,400 engineers were needed to fill the ‘largest gap in a decade’, the report added, while intelligence analysts and pilots were also in demand.