But disciplinary action for a 2010 fight with a colleague means he is considered to have a criminal record. The Border Agency said applications for settlement by ex-forces personnel were considered the same way as all others.
“This involves consideration of a range of factors including unspent convictions, whether passed by military courts or resulting from police involvement,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Lance Corporal Baleiwai – known as “Bale” – was born in Fiji but told the BBC’s Angus Crawford he now considered the UK his home. He is married to Kim – a British national with whom he has two children, aged three and six.
The 32-year-old applied for British citizenship in March 2012 because he planned to leave the Army. He left voluntarily on 15 June after 13 years’ service. Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after four years’ service, and citizenship after five.
L/Cpl Baleiwai served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq twice and once in Afghanistan.