Who we're looking for

Who we're looking for

Nationality & Residency criteria

You can be of any nationality to join the Met, 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 for 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

You will need to have lived in London within the geographical area covered by the Met 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've been abroad serving in the armed forces or working for the UK government, you can apply if you've lived in a London borough for three of the last six years you've lived in the UK. Discounting any periods of time where you have been deployed overseas or across the UK.

We'll only check that you meet these requirements if we make a conditional job offer.

New police constables, experienced officers 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

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, i.e. Army, Navy and Royal Air Force, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and police officer transfers, providing they meet the eligibility criteria.

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

Age criteria

Police community support officers

18–62½ years old

Special constables

You must be at least 18 years old when you apply.

Police staff

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


You must be at least 18 years old when you apply.

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 - see contacts box.