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For any role in MI6, you must meet the following criteria:

You must be a British citizen

You will need to pass security clearance

You will need to be over the age of 21 when you begin your security vetting

You will have to pass medical and drugs tests

All candidates should launch their applications via the website from within the UK.  Those based overseas are advised to wait until they visit the UK before launching an application.  Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

British citizenship

You must be a British citizen.  In addition, at least one of your parents must be (or have been) a British citizen or have substantial ties with the UK.

British dual nationals may apply but if successful you will normally be required to give up your non-British citizenship as a condition of confirmation of appointment in MI6.

You will also need to meet our residency rule. This means that you will need to have lived in the UK for the majority of the last 10 years prior to your application.  There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, studying abroad, serving overseas with HM forces or living overseas with your parents, and you may still be eligible even if you have not been here for all that time.

If you are interested in applying but are not sure whether you meet our nationality or residence criteria we suggest that you apply anyway. We will let you know whether we can take your application.

Security clearance

The nature of our work is such that our people have access to a wide amount of sensitive information. Should this information get into the wrong hands, then national security would be put at risk. Consequently, we owe it to both our staff and the public at large to insist on the most stringent Security Clearance procedures. You'll undergo a process of Developed Vetting, which will include an in-depth look into your life - including your finances. It's essential not to conceal or lie about any of the vetting criteria, or your application will not be taken forward. This process can take at least three months.

Please be aware that in order to obtain Developed Vetting Security Clearance, you must be over the age of 21.

For more information on Security Clearance, please click here.

Medical and drugs tests

You'll need to complete an on-line medical questionnaire which, depending on your responses, may be followed up by our Occupational Health team. You'll also be tested for drugs. If you have used Class A drugs within the last 12 months, or Class B/C drugs in the last six months, your application will not be taken forward.
We are unable to accept your application if (at the time of application) you:

  • Have used Class A drugs (for example, Ecstasy, Cocaine etc) in the last 12 months.
  • Have used Class B/C drugs (for example, Amphetamines, Cannabis, Ketamine etc) in the last 6 months.
  • Are currently being treated for an addiction (for example to alcohol or gambling) or have received such treatment in the last 12 months.
  • Have ever suffered from manic depression or schizophrenia.
  • Are currently bankrupt or the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA).