I assumed a world (or group of worlds) had to be members of the Federation in order for their populace to join Starfleet; other than officer exchanges with allies of the Federation, of course.

The it struck me that Nog is a Ferengi, yet he joined Starfleet. I am pretty sure that the Ferengi Alliance isn't officially an ally of the Federation, let alone a member (they seem to enjoy the status of neutral parties, for maximal business opportunities).

Is this correct and if so is this an exception to the rule or can people from any planet join Starfleet?

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    @Terriblefan Worf is a Terran citizen. I almost put something about that in the question. Probably should've. When he was not outcast from the Klingon Empire I believe he had both citizenships, but definitely an Earth citizen being adopted and raised there since a child. – Hack-R Dec 30 '16 at 20:11
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    @Hack-R - He wasn't raised on Earth, but rather a Federation colony. But yes, he's a Fed citizen. – Valorum Dec 30 '16 at 20:19
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    Ro Laren joined Starfleet in 2358; Bajor didn't join the Federation until 2369. Sito Jaxa was similarly in the Academy in 2368, and while never outright stated, "The First Duty" implies she'd been in the Academy for several years at that point. – fluffy Dec 31 '16 at 3:58
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    Does 7 of 9 count? – Bohemian Dec 31 '16 at 14:36
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    @Bohemian I suppose but both of her parents were Starfleet and she did grow up on a Starfleet vessel before the assimilation – Hack-R Dec 31 '16 at 15:11

The requirements (at least as of the mid 24th Century) are laid out in the Deep Space 9 episode "Heart of Stone", the episode in which Nog actually does ask to join Starfleet:

NOG: That's right. I want to be the first Ferengi in Starfleet. Now, who do I see about getting a uniform?

SISKO: Nog, if you want to become a Starfleet Officer, you have to attend the Academy.

NOG: All right. Where do I sign up?

SISKO: It's not that simple. As a non-Federation citizen, you need a letter of reference from a command level officer before you can even take the entrance exam.

NOG: A command level officer? You mean, like you?

SISKO: Well, yes. Like me.

It seems attending the Academy is enough for at least a tentative description as being "part of Starfleet", even if your civilization isn't part of the Federation. However, in order to get INTO the Academy, you need a letter of reference from a command-level officer.

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    I mustve missed that detail. Good answer! – Hack-R Dec 30 '16 at 20:18
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    This reminds me of how surprised I was, many years ago, to learn that it is possible to enlist in the U.S. Army without being a U.S. citizen! (Although, as I understand it, you need to be a citizen before you will be trusted with the responsibilities and security clearance of any type of commissioned officer.) – Lorendiac Dec 30 '16 at 22:51
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    @Lorendiac: And in fact, U.S. military members and veterans are granted special paths to citizenship. (In some cases they don't even have to be permanent residents first.) So it's far from an oversight. – ruakh Dec 30 '16 at 23:54
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    Yep, it's actually a very common path to citizenship for many immigrants. We have a family friend who's in the Navy specifically to gain citizenship. The Navy has the most foreign-born personnel of all branches of the military. – Lèse majesté Dec 31 '16 at 7:20
  • Adding to all of this, if you enlist as a non-citizen you must complete your naturalization before you are allowed to re-enlist. – EvilSnack Jun 4 '17 at 19:07

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