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How to Join MI6

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 12 Mar 2019 | comments*Discuss
Mi6 Sis Recruitment James Bond Job

Joining MI6 was until recently an operation as covert as the organisation’s official business, but now applying to become a spy is simply a matter of filling out the right application form.

Non-Convert Application

Traditionally you don’t choose to work for the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), or MI6 as it’s more popularly known, the service chooses you. Potential spies were often identified from behind the cloisters of Oxford and Cambridge and then tapped up surreptitiously.

Alternatively job applicants might arrive for interviews without any idea who their potential employer might be and only ever find out if they pass through the various rounds of recruitment successfully.

Recent years have, however, seen a very significant change in the intelligence agency’s recruitment policy. Believing secrecy at the recruitment stage to be counter-productive and talent-spotting to be too labour intensive, MI6 now find their spies in a more straight-forward and transparent manner, much like their sister service across the Thames, MI5. Likewise they also now have their own website rather than just a mysterious PO box number.


The application process may be more straightforward these days but that doesn’t mean MI6 have also curtailed their fine art of selection. They are no less particular about the type of candidates they are looking for and keen as ever to dissuade “thrill seekers and fantasists” looking to follow in the footsteps of James Bond.

Successful candidates still need to be very discrete - it’s one thing to have a hugely exciting and impressive job but then to have to keep any mention of it limited to your nearest and dearest is an enviable skill in itself. Show-offs are therefore as welcome as would-be 00-agents.

Besides being averse to the limelight, SIS employees are expected to be motivated problem-solvers who are good at building relationships, exhibit strong intelligence and have a healthy interest in international affairs.

Broader Recruitment

As well as keeping a particular eye out for specialists such as linguists – particularly in Arabic – and computer experts, the SIS is also looking wider in terms of the sex and ethnicity of its potential employees.

It is now accepted that the white males from privileged university backgrounds that have historically formed the backbone of the security services are not naturally suited to all foreign security threats, not least those posed by Islamic extremists.

The service is keen to recruit more staff from ethnic minority backgrounds not simply because public organisations should be reflective of the society they work on behalf but because of the valuable insight and understanding different ethnic minorities bring - and because they want people that look the part. MI6 have said they are keen to recruit from the Muslim community. Women are also in greater demand.

Recruitment Process

The SIS can’t afford to choose the wrong person and so recruitment process is a rigorous process that can take as long as nine months for successful applicants.

Up to 80 per cent of applicants fall at the first hurdle, the online application form, and often for trivial mistakes such as failing to answer the questions properly. Half of those selected for first interview don’t make it any further and then 50 per cent of the remainder don’t make it beyond the second.

Those that manage to make it so far still have to face an assessment course and then an intensive personal vetting process.

Before you even think about starting this journey you have to make sure you passport confirms you are a British citizen, that you have a 2:2 degree or above and haven’t indulged in any recreational drugs in the preceding 12 months.

Perks of the Job

If you would feel a great sense of purpose and pride in the idea of protecting the security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom from threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking and regional instability then it is certainly worth all the effort.

In being centred on foreign intelligence gathering it is not surprising that one of the perks of the job is the opportunity to travel. An SIS officer may be expected to spend months in a particular country soaking up its culture. The SIS is also noted for the warmth and friendliness of its working environment.

Weighing down the numerous attractions of a role within the SIS might be a concern for danger, a common presumption for which James Bond and his ‘licence to kill’ can share at least some of the blame.

The safety of MI6 staff reigns supreme and they are not asked to do anything they are not comfortable with. Even if they did fancy the idea of having a concealed weapon about their person it wouldn’t be their domain to do so. On occasions where action is required specially trained operatives would be contracted in, usually ex-special forces members.

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[Add a Comment]
I am not a British citizen, I am a 16yr old who would love to work for the SIS n serve MI6.
Anonymous - 12-Mar-19 @ 11:43 AM
Dear Thomas, I am a 13 year old girl for Latvia, living in the UK. I’ve always been interested in secret missions, I’ve been watching films about spies and secret agents. I understand films are not really like the real deal, but I’m still interested in helping the country and keeping it safe. I’ve started doing research on the MI6/SIS and I’m studying extra subjects after school. I was wondering about the subjects I should choose for GCSE in the future, if you have any advice, I’d be more than happy to try it out. Sincerely, Sindiya.
Unknown - 12-Feb-19 @ 8:31 PM
Im going to chose my GCSES next month so i am wondering what i would need to because it is a lifelong dream to work for MI6
agent - 12-Jan-19 @ 7:50 AM
Hello I would very much like to be a part of MI6 and many people believe my intelligence to be very high, however I am 14 years old. I was just wondering if there were specific GCSE requirements and if there was anything I could do to give myself a better chance of succeeding the application progress when I am older. I would be extremely grateful for a reply.
Agent1512 - 20-Dec-18 @ 6:48 PM
i wanna be a agent to work for Uk , trust me i know the most of the secret about the uk for a lot of people who the curv is looking for ,,, and sorry my age is 22 ,,contact me by email
Agent007 - 15-Oct-18 @ 3:16 PM
I am thinking about joining the MI6/SIS but I’m not sure what the entry requirements are yet. I have looked on the websites but it doesn’t say anything about what GCSE results I may need. I still have one year left at secondary school and I’m only 15 but I am exploring my options and deciding what I want to do when I leave school. I will be looking forward to seeing a reply, Thank you.
Jo - 26-Sep-18 @ 4:15 PM
I currently study maths economics and chemistry for a levels and im thinking of doing forensic science for university. I am about to turn 17. Where do I go from here if I want to be a spy or a secret agent?
CJ - 24-Sep-18 @ 4:27 PM
I am 18 years old, I want to be a mi6, I often see on the internet that being a mi6 agent is very good and interesting, but I am hindered by Indonesian citizenship, whether I can become a mi6 agent without being hindered by citizenship. I'm waiting for your reply
Fiqri - 20-Sep-18 @ 10:32 AM
can other citizens be SIS agents, I want to be a British agent, only I am hindered by Indonesian citizenship
Fiqri - 20-Sep-18 @ 5:22 AM
I’m 17 and currently studying public services to then go to university and study forensics. I’ve always wanted to be part of this agency and I would to be given the chance. I’m hardworking, secretive and I think I’d fit in very well. Looking forward to a reply.
Pops - 10-Aug-18 @ 11:30 PM
Ok here we go I am from a medical backgroundI am in 40s 3 postgraduate and works in a professional capacity with people interaction, I speak 2 foreign languages and well travelled, from ethic background,discrete , more then 15 of senior professional experience in a very large national organisation in the UK, wants a change in career and new challenge.
1717 - 29-Jul-18 @ 11:07 AM
can i join the m16 without being a british citizen?
Mc shady - 20-Jul-18 @ 7:58 PM
I'm 16, but i wanna train to become a spy when i'm 18. I'm going to college in september and after i leave college, i wanna start to train and apply. Am i able to apply now?
Iona - 3-Jul-18 @ 6:30 PM
Hi I am 12 and from the UK. I grew up watching the TV show Mi high' (a children's television programme on the BBC about children in the Mi programme) and I always thought it would be so cool if I was a spy but I've only just started thinking about it seriously recently and I know that there are other things out there that I would like to do. How do I know if its the thing for me and that I want it to become part of my future? Please reply, thank you??
Mary - 16-Jun-18 @ 1:13 AM
I am 14 and have no experience. I train nearly everyday ,i take it very seriously. I have been told of my cousin that I should go and reach my goal i have been train really hard to try an get a better change to enter and get in .so finaly am going to try so please give me a chance i will never give up on a mission or on my team mates .
K.c - 11-Jun-18 @ 1:50 PM
I am 13 and have had a little bit of experience and I want to aim for a better job which is the ml6. I have got told by the person I work for that I am ready for a advanced job. I train 2 to 3 hours a day. I am doing well at school as well. I started working a spy since the age of 10. Please consider having me work for you.
Sam - 20-May-18 @ 11:51 PM
I haveabilities. Its the future,new frontier,space race , scramblefor Africa.I hope this information is in safe hands.
rex - 14-May-18 @ 6:09 AM
Hi sir/madam How are you hope everything is going well with you. I have a great interestto work forMI6 . I'm an Afghan citizen. Due to bad life and bad insecurity in Afghanistan I'm having plan to join in MI6 as a great and very secret man. thank you very much I'm looking for your positive reply
Salem - 17-Mar-18 @ 12:58 PM
I'm only 12 but I know I will be a good recruit because I am agile and intelligent for my age and I'm young and be able to fit in to small spaces you should start a kids agency to
deji - 12-Mar-18 @ 3:42 PM
Hi l am 14 years old boy and l am a Ugandan l have been dreaming of becoming a MI6 agent l am a faster learner with some learning skills .l enjoy learning and l will love fighting and protecting the others and all so for my country. THANK YOU.
Swento - 6-Mar-18 @ 9:47 PM
Billy Wilson - Your Question:
Hi, I am a 12 year old boy from the U.K. I have seen many movies and played many games that are to do with all the spy sources around the world. I have wanted to join the MI6 since I was about 7 and if you do accept someone my age thank you so much. I am very fit and active and I go to lots of clubs/sports like Boxing, Rugby, a bit of football, a bit of hockey, BB and j want to start KickBoxing but I would love to try anything you suggest. My favourite subjects in school are Physical Education, Technology, Geography, Science, English and Home Economics.I hope you accept me, it would mean the world to me.Thank you.

Our Response:
Unfortunately this is not MI6 but an advice website. We hope our article helps you a little towards achieving your ambition.
DIYSpy - 6-Mar-18 @ 12:16 PM
Hi, I am a 12 year old boy from the U.K. I have seen many movies and played many games that are to do with all the spy sources around the world. I have wanted to join the MI6 since I was about 7 and if you do accept someone my age thank you so much. I am very fit and active and I go to lots of clubs/sports like Boxing, Rugby, a bit of football, a bit of hockey, BB and j want to start KickBoxing but I would love to try anything you suggest. My favourite subjects in school are Physical Education, Technology, Geography, Science, English and Home Economics. I hope you accept me, it would mean the world to me. Thank you.
Billy Wilson - 3-Mar-18 @ 11:07 PM
I havedream to stay in UK when I m there I m willing to join MI6 no matter what I can do my best in physical things and I love being I war a lot I have applied for South Africa force for 12 years bt never recruit me nw I want to try to another country. Will to die for something not to die for nothing
Gashi - 25-Feb-18 @ 2:45 PM
I would like to enlist in the mi6 recruitment program that is all I shall say for now until I hear from you.
T - 26-Dec-17 @ 3:59 PM
At what age can you start training to work for the MI5/ MI6?
Ana - 20-Dec-17 @ 6:26 PM
I've always wanted to be apart of mi6. I don't tell my friends they all think I'd be a singer or a model or something. I'm young i know that I am because I'm only 13 but its always been my dream. Its my dream even more now because I grew up with a abusive drug dealer dad and his friends and I know what them people are like, I hate them and I hope one day they are locked away for it. Last year I snitched him up for it now I don't see him. There is so many more people in the world like that though and it annoys me. I had friends like that as well now I'm not talking to them because I'm not wasting my time on people like that. But I want to bring them down and I want that more than anything
Morgz - 2-Dec-17 @ 11:51 AM
What. Is required to become an m16 agent
Notlucky - 19-Nov-17 @ 6:32 PM
Hi, I am 13 years old and ever since I was a child my dream was to become an MI6 agent. I recently watched this movie I thoroughly enjoyed calledkingsman The Secret Service . The reason I want to become a secret agent is because I really want to save the world and I would risk my life to save many others. I know I'm pretty young but I never thought it would matter. I don't want to become part of the MI6 for money, it's to save millions of people. I do this martial arts called Modern Arnis ( a Philippines martial art) and speak a few different languages as well as my mother tongue. I really hope that one day I become a secret agent. Please respond to this. Thank you so much.
Mary - 25-Oct-17 @ 2:27 PM
i know my self as a good person i always wanted to join the MI6 and that's what i'm looking forward too but would anyone think that a Muslim girl able to be an MI6 agent. Would they except that. THANKS
serin - 17-Oct-17 @ 5:39 PM
hi I'm Italian guy live in London , I'm in here to aske for help , please anyone, I find out the somebody whiteout my permission implemented an electronic device inside my head , please help I went at hospital but they seyd nothing come out on X-ray , pleas anyone knows how to stop this device working, he makes radio noices that bader me , I'm going crazy, some people have been spying me for very long time now
no - 11-Sep-17 @ 10:47 AM
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