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Are you considering/ due to move overseas for an assignment?


Your future overseas admin unit/Embassy are responsible for providing you with all overseas information, such as housing, schooling and pertinent local information.  This will normally be in the form of a pack or you are given a sponsor to liaise with.


Below are some general information for your reference:


Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) will assign suitable housing for you and your family once an MOD e1132 (application to occupy Service Family Accommodation) has been completed.  

The Royal Navy has a Relocations Officer who will be able to provide you with the FamilOverseas Removals and Travel Pack.  Relocations is only responsible for removals and travel to your destination.   


  • Joint Service Publication (JSP)  

JSP64 – Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations Volume 1: Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Family Accommodation – UK and Overseas 


  • Long Term Relationships (LTR) 

Overseas do not have surplus accommodation, therefore, long term relationships are not eligible to apply for SFA.  If you wish to accompany your partner on an overseas assignment you must be married.   

Overseas birth notification pilot launches

A birth notification pilot in Cyprus is enabling babies born to British Forces families, who are registered with Defence Medical Services, to be registered on the Birth Notification Application (BNA) by Primary Care Support England (PCSE). Babies will receive their NHS number at (or soon after) birth to enable immediate and ongoing care provision and aide secure information sharing between approved health and care organisations. Since March 2021,10 babies have already been registered on the BNA. With the aim of keeping babies and children safer and improving efficiencies, the pilot has been made possible through partnership working with military, charitable, NHS and public health bodies, including NHS Digital, Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Defence Public Health Unit, Defence Primary Healthcare, SSAFA and PCSE. It is anticipated that the pilot will be rolled out to other overseas bases in the future.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO)

All BFPO numbers have been allocated a shadow postcode e.g Naples = BFPO8/BF1 2AB 

Up to date information about BFPO can be found here on the Post Office website. Also, additional information can be found on the government’s website here. 


  • Shadow Postcodes 

Full list of current shadow postcodes can be found here. 


  • Smartphone apps 

You can find BFPO numbers, UK retailers who post products to BFPO addresses and calculate you postage costs by downloading the BFPO app for Apple and Android devices.  


  • BFPO/Brexit

BFPO customers in EU locations are advised that mail subject to recent delays is continuing to work its way through an extremely busy civil mail network system. BFPO have experienced an interruption with deliveries to, and UK return services from, Naples and Milan. BFPO customers in these locations are advised that parcel services and UK return services via the Naples Forces Post Office are temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Moreover, changes to UK and international law will affect how mail and parcels will be cleared in the future and these new laws, which are driven by aviation security and fiscal requirements, will be getting much stricter throughout 2021. You can find a BFPO service update here.

UPDATE: From April 4th, Royal Mail Group has announced changes to private BFPO mail tariffs, these new tariffs affect BFPO customers sending mail via a UK Post Office Counter or an overseas Forces Post Office (FPO). BFPO customers should note that private BFPO mail items posted over a UK Post Office Counter or at an FPO Counter will be limited to 20Kg and new size dimensions. For more information visit:


In overseas locations, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) provides services (or access to services) that, so far as is reasonably practicable, conform in type, scope and standard to that required by legislation in England.  


Parents will have access to the following: 

  • In MOD nursery setting overseas parents with children aged 3 and 4 years old can access 15 or 30 hours free childcare (depending on eligibility).  30 hours free childcare applies when registering for the additional entitlement.   
  • Recently renamed to Overseas Nursery Authority (ONA), Parents of 3 and 4 year olds in overseas locations, where MOD schools and setting are not available, can apply for reimbursement of nursery fees  


Applications (from all three services) should be sent to  


The education provision for Service children overseas can be categorised as Ministry of Defence (MOD) Schools and Settings or non-MOD schools locations. Please click here for more information.


Employment criteria can differ from country to country.  Opportunities can be limited, especially in areas that are more isolated.  Job vacancies are posted on the Tri-Service platformForces Families Job, as well as opportunities to upskill. 


Further support:


Depending on your personal financial situation, you may find information within the following links useful when considering an overseas assignment.  


Local Overseas Allowance (LOA)

From 1 July 2021, the way in which the Armed Forces’ Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) is calculated will be changing. The changes will make the allowance more transparent, fairer to all Service personnel, and improve oversight. They do not impact eligibility or other allowances and are not a saving measure but designed to be cost neutral. Click here to find out more about the updates. We have received several enquiries on the new package and have put together a quick guide/FAQ here.

Where to find in country information
  • British Defence Staff US –  
  • British Forces Social Work Service (BFSWS) and Community Support Cyprus – 
  • British Forces South Atlantic Islands families’ handbookClick here
  • European Joint Support Units – 
  • Tri-Service International Hive (iHIVE)  –
    • When assigned overseas the International Hive information service (iHIVE) will provide Tri-Service support and up to date and relevant information for all oversea locations.  Through researched information, overseas location guides will provide easy access to relevant information regarding the overseas location and include researched information on several key topics including health, education, welfare and local facilities plus details of the various policies that support those overseas.  The guides, available to view or download via the web, also include useful contacts.  The guides are developed to help personnel and their families understand more about locations overseas and can be used to decide if specific location are suitable for overseas assignment for the Serving person and their family.

There is no Service provision for dental care by Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC) (Dental) in ISODET locations, please click here for further information.

Posted on: 22nd October, 2020
Updated on: 25th October, 2021