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Metropolitan Police - Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

Nationality & residency criteria

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be British to join the MPS. In fact, you can be of any nationality as long as you’ve been resident in the UK for at least the three years immediately prior to applying for all roles except new police constables where you must have lived in London three of the last 6 years prior to applying. In addition, specific visa and leave to remain criteria must also be met, depending on the area of the MPS you wish to join. Please see below full details of the Nationality & Residency criteria for all roles.

New Police Constables

As of August 2014, we’re changing the residency criteria and you will need to have lived in London within the geographical area covered by the MPS for at least three of the last six years to be eligible to apply.

Recruiting new constables with a knowledge and understanding of London (through living in the capital) will enable more effective operational policing through better understanding of local issues, a deeper knowledge of local communities and a more direct understanding of the diversity of cultures.

If you are currently serving in the British armed forces and can demonstrate London residency by confirming that you have lived in London for a total of 3 of the last 6 years by discounting any periods of time where you have been deployed overseas or across the UK, then you are still eligible to apply.

If you are currently working for the UK Government overseas and can demonstrate London residency by confirming that you have lived in London for a total of 3 of the last 6 years by discounting any periods of time where you have been deployed abroad then you are still eligible to apply.

New police constables, police transfers and re-joiners, and special constables

Candidates for these roles, who are neither a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or a Swiss national, are required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Such applicants must reside in the UK free of restrictions or have an entitlement to do so.

Other roles

Any applicant for other roles within the MPS who is not a British Citizen, or a member of the EEA, must have a visa entitlement to live and work in the UK for a period of time sufficient to recoup the recruitment and training costs for the role. The timescales are as follows:

Police staff in administrative roles
Candidates must have 1.5 years left to run on their visa at the point of application.

Police community support officers and police staff in communication officer and other specialist roles requiring extensive training (including designated detention officers) -

Candidates must have 2.5 years left to run on their visa at the point of application.

If any candidate has not resided in the United Kingdom for the three years prior to submitting an application, the application cannot be accepted. The only exceptions are for British military personnel serving abroad, ie Army, Navy and Royal Air Force, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and police officer transfers, providing they meet the re-joiners criteria.

Applicants must satisfy BOTH the nationality and residency criteria to be eligible for appointment.

Age criteria

Police community support officers
18–62½ years old

Special constables

18–57 years old

New constables and experienced officers

18–57 years old

Police staff

Police (civilian) staff: 16 years, except where the role involves shift work where the minimum age will be 18 years.



Your character

All employees of the MPS, whether they wear a uniform or not, are in a position of responsibility and trust. As such they should be law-abiding citizens with proven integrity. If you have previously been convicted of a criminal offence or had involvement with the police your suitability will be subject to careful consideration.
We also have a policy of prohibiting any of our officers, staff and volunteers from becoming members of the BNP or similar organisations whose aims or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality.


As a candidate for employment with the Metropolitan Police Service you should present a professional image, and be sensitive to the impression you will make on members of the public.

Anyone who has a tattoo which could be construed as offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted to join the MPS. This is irrespective of wherever the tattoo appears on your body.

Tattoos on the face, visible above a collar line or on the hands are not acceptable for any role within the MPS.

All other tattoos MUST be covered. E.g. If you have a tattoo on your forearm, you must wear a long sleeved shirt at all times when on duty/ or at work.

As part of the application process you will be required to supply a photograph/s of any tattoo/s you have and a decision will be made as to whether the tattoo/s complies with our dress code. If the tattoo/s is considered unacceptable then your application will be rejected.

Disability and health queries

The Equality Act 2010 applies to all appointments in the Metropolitan Police Service and we welcome applications from individuals with disabilities. Adjustments will be made to selection processes and / or the working environment provided it is reasonable in all circumstances to do so.
For more specific medical information / conditions please speak directly to the Recruitment Medical Centre on 0207 161 6373 or e-mail