HOW FOREIGNERS CAN JOIN THE FRENCH ARMY
The French Foreign Legion is a military service wing of the French Army unique because it was established in 1831 exclusively for foreign nationals who wish to serve in the French Armed Forces. It is commanded by French Officers and is also open to French citizens.
Recruitment of people into the French Foreign Legion takes place in mainland France. Candidates who wish to join must leave their countries and travel to France and the Legion does not help in the visa and travelling expenses. A candidate is expected to apply and get a visa by himself and pay for his travelling expenses on his own. When the candidate gets to France, he should present himself in any of the Legion's recruitment centers and after inform he wants to enlist. From their, the Legion takes in the candidate and provides accommodation, food and clothing for free as he waits to undergo tests which will determine whether he is healthy and fit to be recruited for training.
The French Foreign Legion recruitment is done in two phases. In the first phase, candidates undergo the Pre-selection and Selection processes while in the second phase, successful candidates who passed the first phase are trained to become Legionaries.
Pre-selection is done at any of the legion's recruitment centers in Paris or Aubagne. Here, candidates are received, given information, confirm their motivation to join the Legion, an initial medical check up is done on them and they finalize their enlistment papers. Those successful are then taken to a recruitment center in Aubagne for the second selection. During the second selection process, candidates undergo a series of tests which include, psychotechnical tests which require logic, thorough medical check up, sports tests, motivation & security interviews and finally personality tests. Those successful sign a 5 years service contract and are incorporated into the French Foreign Legion.
After the first phase (pre-selection & selection), the 2nd phase begins whereby recruits train with the Legion's Fourth Foreign Regiment for 15 weeks. The legion's training is often described as physically challenging and stressful psychologically and so is not meant for "softies" because they will probably end up deserting. Upon completing the training, recruits pass out as Legionnaires and are assigned to one of the 11 regiments of The French Foreign Legion.
After three years of serving in the French Foreign Legion, Legionnaires of foreign nationality can apply to become French citizens. A Legionnaire who becomes injured during a battle for France can immediately apply for French citizenship under a provision known as "FRENCH BY SPILLED BLOOD".
Read more information on joining the French Foreign Legion here.