ARRIVING TO BFB
Posted to Brunei?
On receipt of an Assignment Order to BFB personnel are to contact the BFB Welfare Clerk on Norefna.firstname.lastname@example.org . The clerk will provide you with necessary BFB administration forms and a BFB Welcome Guide.
Although the following information is not exhaustive, it will give you a brief understanding about your upcoming posting to Brunei and some reservations and concerns that you may like to consider before accepting your assignment. At the bottom of this page, you will also find an action checklist that will assist you during your moving process.
Brunei is an isolated station in a challenging environment and personnel with pre-existing special social and welfare needs – either personally or within their families – must think through very carefully whether a posting to BFB is suitable for them and take advice from the chain of command if in doubt. It is the responsibility of all personnel to ensure that the right support is available from the outset. While it is not possible to give an exhaustive list of relevant social and welfare needs, examples include children registered with Children’s Education and Advisory Service (CEAS), family registered with Social Work Service, family currently receiving AWS support or family members receiving on-going medical treatment.
Brunei law does not recognise civil partnerships or accept co-habitation unless married. This therefore restricts the status of those assigned to the Garrison (including civil servants, teachers, med staff, SSAFA). Any SP who intends to marry or form a civil partnership abroad should contact the local authorities in the country where they intend to get married or enter into a civil partnership, see www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad. Your marriage or civil partnership will need to be recognised in the UK if you wish to establish a family life in the UK/Brunei.
Brunei requires all visitors to arrive with a passport showing at least 6 months validity. You are responsiblefor ensuring that your passport and that of your dependants are valid. If you or any member of your family do not already have a passport, or it is not valid for the required period, a new passport will be supplied free of charge from your current unit. Your RAO will assist, but you must start the process as soon as you received your posting order.
British Passport Holders
Whether travelling on business or holiday, you will automatically receive a 90 days visit pass on arrival in Brunei. This is due to the government-to-government agreement between the UK and Brunei. This facility applies to all British passport holders, even to Nepalese children born in the UK issued with a British passport travelling with their Nepalese parents and family members.
No such agreement exists between Brunei and Nepal so all Nepalese nationals must be covered by a work visa prior to departure or must ask the Brunei SSO office to request a visa on arrival (VOA) on their behalf. For VOA applications, you must fax (or scan and e-mail) the passport details for you and your family members travelling on Nepalese passports with a copy of the soldier’s Army ID to the SSO office at least 3 weeks prior to departure date.
Foreign & Commonwealth Passport Holders
If you or any member of your family is travelling on a passport other than British or Nepalese, you must ask the appropriate embassy for advice on entry procedures to Brunei. We cannot advise Commonwealth soldiers or nationals of other countries on entry procedures. If you do not have the correct entry documents you and your family may be interrogated at length on arrival.
At the time of writing, Service Personnel who do not hold a British passport are allowed to travel to Brunei without the need for a visa. This is under the Visiting Forces Act. When deploying to Brunei, the Service person must carry his / her passport, Service ID Card and a copy of their assignment order.
Dependants / Family members.
If any dependant or family member does not hold a British Passport, you may be required to obtain a visa before departing the UK or Nepal. Your RAO will be able to guide you through this very important stage.Visa requirements are very strict and the family of Service personnel who are non UK passport holders will not be given any special treatment at the immigration checkpoint on entering Brunei. In the circumstances, please start the visa application process without delay. For married accompanied soldiers, once your unit has notified the DPRC of the requirement for travel for your family, you should then receive a travel pack from them with forms that must be completed and sent back as soon as possible.
Passports and Visa at Public Expense
When there is a requirement to provide Service personnel and their immediate family travelling on official journeys with the necessary identity documentation the costs are met by the public expense see JSP 752 Chapter 10 Section 13. This includes maintaining valid UK visas whilst on an overseas assignment at public expense, this also includes a refund of passport renewal fees (not replacement due to loss or mutilation).
DSCOM with Agility GRMS deal with any unaccompanied baggage for both single and accompanied Service Personnel and UKBCs. The Agility website and DSCOM will confirm your Cubic Metre allowance. Married accompanied personnel may send 2 unaccompanied baggage consignments to Brunei, one on the ‘Normal Service’ and one using the ‘Removal Service’.
When using this service, you will need to get boxes from your QMs department, pack them and arrange for pickup of these boxes for onward travel to Brunei. Your QMs department can usually supply large rolls of PVC. Delicate equipment should be packed appropriately.
This service is carried out by a civil contractor, who will provide all boxes and packing materials, pack all furniture, boxes, bikes etc and remove them, for onward travel to Brunei. This service will deliver all your removals to your married quarter in Brunei as soon as it arrives. Agility GRMS will contract a removals company to carry out this service for you.
Single soldiers or unaccompanied personnel are only entitled to use the ‘Normal Service’ when shipping their possessions to Brunei. They will have to drive this process from start to finish.
Married accompanied personnel are entitled to store possessions that they are not shipping to Brunei for the duration of their tour in Brunei. You are to request ‘Storage Facility’ online at the same time you request for your unaccompanied baggage shipment via Agility GRMS Website. Your possessions can be moved into storage up to 14 days before you depart from your current post.
The entitled current baggage allowance is 40kg per adult, with 40kg for each child. It is recommended that you pack a box of things that you know you will require on arrival and post it to Brunei via BFPO 11. This will enable you to pack more in the suitcases that will accompany you to Brunei and ensure that you are within your unaccompanied baggage allowance.
You are strongly recommended to insure your belongings whilst they are in transit, in storage and in use whilst they are in Brunei. Many standard UK household contents insurers will not provide cover whilst your belongings are overseas so you may have to shop around for the best deal for your personal circumstance.
When you travel outside of Brunei, travel insurance is your responsibility, the MOD is not liable for medical costs should you need medical treatment out with Brunei.
The following vaccinations are recommended for all personnel moving to Brunei:
Hepatitis B – due to high prevalence in Asia
BCG (this may be problematic for children)
While all vaccinations can be given in Brunei, it is recommended that dependants are in date with the above before arrival. As stated before your family will receive instructions from DPRC for them to be declared medically fit by their GP. Your family should seek advice about immunisation schedules at this time. It is recommended that you start your immunisations as far in advance of your move to Brunei as possible.
If you are bringing a pet to Brunei you must seek permission from the SSO in
advance of making any bookings for shipping arrangements. Importation and shipping costs
are your personal responsibility and individuals must make all the arrangements themselves. It is not difficult importing pets to Brunei, however it is expensive, be prepared to pay more than £2000 to ship a large dog and about £1000 for a cat. Although dogs and cats are able to adapt well to the climate, there are other dangers such as snakes, parasites and diseases that your pet may not be resistant to. Veterinary care is not readily available and comprehensive. Families need to carefully arrange everything to ensure there are no issues encountered. Read More...
What to Wear in Brunei
You will need warm weather clothing as soon as you step off the flight so make sure you have enough lightweight items in your suitcase. Once you settle you can purchase clothing from local shops or order from tailors but be wary, the fabrics and workmanship may not meet your standards. There is very little ready to wear clothing in western sizes available locally.
The Syariah Penal Code order which states that wearing indecent clothing in public is a crime is effective from April 2014.
It should be noted that shorts, singlets and flip flops are inappropriate dress forms for men when visiting government offices. Trousers and a sleeved shirt and shoes should be worn.
There is no national dress code; however, it is advisable to dress modestly around the local community. Ladies should avoid wearing tight fitting or revealing clothes when visiting public areas or government offices. Conservative, modest clothes should be worn.
Find out more about clothing including military uniform, mess kit, school uniform, babies & toddlers and sports clothing on the BFB Pre-Arrival Guide.
The following documentation should be brought with you in your hand luggage to Brunei:
- Custody orders for any children accompanying you.
- Birth certificates for children of school age for registration at Hornbill School and adopted children.
- Car Insurance as proof of any No Claims Discount that you have with previous insurance company.
These discounts will be recognised by Bruneian insurance companies.
- Driving Licence
- Marriage certificates, especially if children are from a previous marriage and will be accompanying you; if you are registering a birth in Brunei for baby’s UK passport, you require parents’ birth certificate.
- Property documents, as these may be needed if you later choose to sell, rent or make any changes the current status of your property. Getting documents out of storage can be costly.
- Record of immunisations that you have received.
- Contract for UKBC’s
- Photocopies of passport of children who are at boarding school in UK. These will be required when applying for a licence if you wish to employ an amah.
- Passport photos as these may be useful for a variety of things that you will be required to do on arrival including joining the Panaga Club or Travel visas. There are few photo shops in Kuala Belait and Seria town that provide passport photo service. Most famous shops are the Nanyang shop is allocated in Kuala Belait town and the Gopal shop is in Seria town.
- School paperwork provided by your child’s current school, including examination certificates for older children.
- Dependant’s employment references, qualifications or certificates.
- All baggage and insurance paperwork. If your shipment arrives damaged you will need the contact details and receipt number for your claim.
- Primary Health Care Record, or “Red Book” for each child.